It’s no secret that libraries enjoy tough economic conditions. I don’t mean that they aren’t affected by budget cuts and layoffs–they are–what I mean is library patronage sky rockets when incomes go down. Try parking at your local library these days and it’s likely you will be jockeying for a parking space.
I must say that really threw me on a recent visit is that my library doesn’t seem to support books–just videos. Book shelves have been shrinking in the past several months and the middle isle formerly covered with tables and chairs for study–now houses as many DVD racks as possible (still allowing for fire codes) and tables and chairs have been relegated to the corners behind the ever-dwindling book racks.
I understand that as a fast-food nation the tendency is to consume stories and information the same way. No seat down dinners here. No–just grab your flick and run it through the plastic case remover and under the scanner on your dash out the door (probably to a waiting get-away car.) No seating, no savoring, no skimming of chapters –I’m waiting for libraries with the drive-thru window. I’m not talking about the book drop-off slot, I’m thinking more like order your DVD buy shouting your selection into a crackly speaker box and pick it up at the next window. These must exist–someone please write and tell me about your drive-thru DVD store –oops–I mean library.
Me? I still prefer words on a page. What are your thoughts?