June 25, 2010

Libraries

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Dead Tree Sandwiches,What the hell? — Katrina @ 7:57 pm

I like libraries. There’s something uplifting about the idea of a public institution existing for the sole purpose carrying lots and lots of information for the people to seek out freely at their leisure. Public school doesn’t fall under that category because you’re forced to go, which kills the leisure part and turns acquisition of knowledge into a hated chore rather than desirable enlightenment.

Tried to go to my local one today after work, only to find it had closed at 5pm. Normally, this one stays open until 9pm Monday through Thursday but Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, only until 5pm. Or rather, Sunday is only open until 5pm during the school year, and is closed in the summer. These hours are long compared to those of some other local libraries, which close at 5pm every weekday and are closed weekends.

You know, not sure what universe these libraries think they’re in, but most people are at work during those hours. Libraries like to complain they may be dying because of Borders and Barnes and Noble being there, but the thing is, Barnes and Noble is open until 11pm. It closes six whole hours after the regular workday ends. That’s actually convenient for people. Libraries can’t be open only during hours where very few people can come and complain that hardly anybody is coming to the library.

And the thing about reduced hours in the summer? I’d assume it’s because they’d want to keep later hours during the school year for students who need it for studying and work. That makes sense. But the thing is, even students can’t do the before-5pm thing. Depending on age, might need their parents to take them if it’s far enough, and parents get off at work at 5pm. Also, may be stuck in after school activities or summer camps.

Library should also be there for students who want to do non-school related studying. It’s supposed to be an autodidactic playground. But inconvenient hours make that difficult.

I know, I know. Elephant in the room here is that, well, there’s the internet now and you can find more information on it than in any library. Hell, Wikipedia alone could replace half the Dewey Decimal System! Of course, that’s assuming the people wanting the library for info actually have access, or at least free enough access, to a functional computer with internet access. Even this day and age, not everyone does, either because of low income or low age. Or high age and still thinking computers are the devil’s playthings.

Or in the case of novels, being unwilling or unable to pay for them yet also unwilling and unable to find an illegal online copy somewhere. Or too recent to be free on Google Books.

And libraries have free WiFi anyway.

So there’s free books and free information. Just sucky hours.

This has been Day 33 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 10.

1 Comment

  1. […] almost two months ago when I mentioned that libraries around here have weird hours? How they close too early to be convenient on most days and have too short or no hours on […]

    Pingback by Sure, Why Not? » Libraries Are Silly — August 21, 2010 @ 5:31 pm

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