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    • To me, public libraries are critical component to any community infrastructure. BUT, if not well-funded and MANAGED, they can easily be discounted as netting poor returns on investment.

      Here in Las Vegas, we have some "pretty" libraries that paid some great architects but the base of books available is abysmal. When I lived in Wasilla, Alaska and was getting ready to move out of state after 8 years of accumulating tons of shit, I could not sell or even donate to the library $1000's of graphic design, art and photography books. They actually went into the dumpster. :(

      When I lived in Salt Lake City, they had a great downtown library with a pretty good collection.

      But, after reading this post -

      It got me thinking how nowadays people my advanced age to 3 years old are easily conditioned just to ask "Ok Google - When did @Chris render the complete 'Baldy' look?" I think Amerika places minimal value in critical thinking - more about how to be the next Kardashian?

    • I refuse to get a listening machine (Alexa), but could not live without my talking machine (radio)!

      I’m the same way about libraries - gotta have access to as many books as possible. I’m always disappointed when I can’t find a copy of some book I’m looking for - sometimes I am so compelled to read the book that I have to buy it. When I’m done, I donate the book to the library because I know they don’t have a copy in their collection. Heh.

      I wonder if libraries are seeing a surge in usage due to the whole minimalist movement? I used to buy a lot of books and keep them in my own library. I got past that a few moves ago. I gave away all but my museum art books—I suppose those will have to go someday, too.

      You are right - Salt Lake has a very good library system—city and county libraries pool their collections and patrons can easily request books anywhere in the system to be transferred to their local branch.

      When I lived in the Bay Area, I had library cards for both the San Jose and the Santa Clara systems. However, both systems are very diligent about checking on cardholders’ resident eligibility, and they cut me off soon after I moved away. I had hoped to keep using their digital collections, but no dice. :(

    • We had a massive personal library as well, which had to go when we moved onto the road full time. I now have a Kindle which is my lifeline, and the tablet for colour reading (graphic novels, comics, magazines, etc). We still have some books; rare or large format books that are not, and will probably never be, available on line.

      As a kid growing up "out bush" in Australia, 40 miles away from a tiny town in the middle of nowhere, the local library was a life saver. Though life extender might be a better description as it enabled me to see past the property we lived on and the sheep and horses, past my monthly school lesson packet, to the bigger world. They were generous and understanding of the lifestyle at that library as they would let me borrow a dozen books at a time, enough to last the fortnight before the next trip for food and post.

      That was 50 years ago; they were closed down and replaced by a book van a decade back. 😟

      As for the other, we won't have any "always listening" device within coo-eee of us. Smartphones, sure. If the government want's to listen to us old folk rabbitting on about our arthritis they are welcome to but Google/Amazon/Apple can get stuffed, so Siri gets shafted (we don't have Alexa or Google devices).