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Big Changes at the Main Library Downtown
My jaw dropped as I walked through the door of the main library recently. What happened to all the books? Where did they go? Are they still here somewhere or did they just get rid of a lot of them? I asked the librarian behind the counter, "yes, they're all still here, but we did get rid of some of them," he said, making me wonder if he just told me yes and no at the same time?
Where there used to be rows and rows of books there are now rows and rows of computers. At every computer there sat a person intently working on something.
I went looking for all those books that I like: the big, expensive coffee table books about art and the songbooks. Yep, they were still there, just moved to a different location in the Library, just 20 or 30 feet from where they used to be. But, it did look like there were less books.... But I could be wrong. I didn't count them or anything.
Then I noticed where the newspapers used to be there are tax forms and such the library gives away and a secton for selling the worn, soiled or obsolete books. 10 cents a book. But, mostly just a big open space. There also used to be a sofa type of padded chair where usually sat a homeless person. That's gone. Where will the homeless sit now? They can still sit on wooden chairs, there's still plenty of them.
I went looking for the newspapers and they still have them back at the Reference Desk.
When you can get on the internet and look at just about any newspaper, why would you want to look at a hard copy of it? I guess if you don't have internet access, but the library is providing free internet access at all those dozens of PCs all lined up.
The Newseum website has the front pages of 796 Newspapers from 84 countries: http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/default.asp
It still is a nice looking, very functional library. I guess it's that mid-50s Modern so many Architects like. It makes for a good atmosphere to read and think.
Wide open spaces and new, modern ergonomic-looking counters makes for a pleasant library experience. They've also added self-check-out stations where you scan your own books, DVDs or CDs and walk out without talking to anyone.
I like the self checkout but there is a little learning curve. I'll get it down eventually. I'm ok with all these changes just don't take my library away.