1. consciousness razor says

    “Well, sure, smart guy… maybe there are small libraries in Scandinavia or wherever. I bet their services are subpar, but I will look into it. Not that it makes a difference, since the US would need large libraries, which are impossible. Checkmate.”

    . . .

    I don’t know how many times I’ve had that dumbass conversation about one thing or another. Not even with card-carrying, Bible-thumping Randians most of the time — I limit my exposure to those — just fairly ordinary people who have somehow become very very confused.

  2. colinday says

    Sorry Mano, whatever Randian nuttiness I have does not extend to her politics. This cartoon does pose a problem for her views on the incompatibility of force and mind.

  3. lochaber says

    I worked at a library that had to fight for it’s budget every couple of years. They wanted to take the library budget and give it to the cops/firefighters. The cops/firefighters were ~75% of the city budget, the library was ~3%.

    The city manager said something once about not understanding the purpose, as they just buy and downloaded books on their e-reader. (the city manager was pulling in something around 1/4 million a year, most of the library patrons were not pulling in quite so much)

    There are a lot of people that feel libraries are a waste of “their tax money”, and they let us know every damned time they came in.

  4. blf says

    ‘I’m an Orkney librarian driving to a school when a wave engulfs my van’:

    I’m a librarian in Orkney, which comprises 70 islands off the north coast of Scotland. The library service serves a population of more than 21,000 people, throughout the 20 inhabited islands. The main library is in Kirkwall, with another branch in Stromness and a mobile library that goes round the islands by ferry facilities. We offer a home library service and book boxes are also sent by ferry to the more remote islands.


    As I go on my lunch break, I stop and talk to a man whose wife died a little while ago. I’ve seen him a few times and he hangs around the library when he knows I’m about to go for lunch. He’s obviously lonely and enjoys chatting to someone.


    I visit another school in Burray, where I’m to teach the children how to code. This is a recent addition to my job and one that I love […].

    Burray is connected to the main island by a causeway, which sometimes gets closed to traffic in very stormy weather as the sea gets blown high over the road. Today it’s open but as I approach in my van, the sea is crashing over the barrier. I stop at one end, watch the waves and try to time my drive to cross between them. It’s exciting and frightening all at once. Halfway across, I misjudge it and a wave covers the van. I arrive at the school a bit shaken, and they congratulate me for making it down.

    Bad weather sometimes means I have to cancel trips to schools on other islands because the ferry service can’t run. There are occasions when our mobile library can’t go out; this has an impact on more isolated people who don’t have much human contact and really look forward to it. I always feel like I’m letting them down when this happens.

    After school has finished for the day, teenagers come in to use the computers, read and chat. We get a lot of people coming here to use the computers and wifi. People also come in for help filling out forms for benefits as well as online job applications. In the summer, tourists come to print off a boarding pass, or people from cruises use the internet to catch up on their emails.

    On weekends we run clubs for children to enable those from outside the town and from other islands to come along. One father tells me he loves being able to come with his son as they don’t live together.


    Clearly this socialist menace does not and cannot help people.


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