13.10.2012 – Web-Scale Discovery Standards. Kindle Lending Library Goes Offshore. Libraries And The Informational Future.

New Zealand

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  1. Good morning

    Andy’s article The Collection Quagmire made interesting reading. Over the last few years I’ve had the opportunity to buy both the fiction and non-fiction for our seven libraries; at the moment I oversee acquisitions for both budgets.

    Shreve’s argument about wasteful spending of tax-payer money is one I’ve heard from patrons, in a slightly different form. In my case the ‘offending’ items have been relatively expensive non-fictions books, usually Rizzoli publications. I freely admit to loving Rizzoli, by the way, and the book rep knows it! Anyhow … the argument was that it would be better to buy five $30 books than waste money on one book costing $150. How could I be so wasteful with ratepayers dollars?

    My response is this; we’re not a wealthy district, and some of our towns are poor with high unemployment. If the libraries don’t provide at least a few expensive books, then our ratepayers will never see them and enjoy the pleasure of a truly beautiful publication. Our children won’t know that such things exist, or have the chance to dream of a career in high end publishing or photography etc. Yes, most of our money needs to go into bog-standard non-fiction, but I also have a responsibility to provide items for library users that the ratepayers can never provide for themselves.

    I’ve had the same conversation a couple of times over the years. Patrons seem to take my comments onboard and go away happy for us to provide a few luxury books. From reading Andy’s article I suspect Shreve would not be so easily swayed, and in all honesty, they have way bigger problems to face than whether or not providing ‘entertainment’ is a good use of their budget.

    Cath Sheard
    Assistant Manager Cultural Services
    South Taranaki LibraryPlus

    1. Cath Sheard says:

      Blast! WordPress got me that time – I intended to reply as me, not the Museum. Apologies. Cath

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