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We're all about The Service in libraries. We do whatever we convince ourselves that YOU want. Whether you want it or not. Whether you will use it or not. Regardless of the cost.
One fantastic example is here at the Columbus Metropolitan Library where they purchased about six ereaders, a tablet and a laptop to show off the devices which can be used to download free econtent from that library.
Here is a photo of the display, somewhere around here; oh, down near the bottom. There's got to be three or four thousand bucks worth of stuff there that's for "display only" that "cannot be checked out."
This is a great way to spend library money. After all, the library offers downloadable content and there's no better way to promote that service than to show library users all the related cool technology. Especially when it's bolted to the table.
But yet, the Columbus display reminded me that there are still areas in our library where we are not inviting our patrons to utilize them more. So using the Columbus cost model, I proposed several additional purchases at our library. And all were approved.
So like the Columbus library ereader display, we took $3,000 and we shopped craigslist. And we now have a 1993 Buick LeSabre parked near our Chilton and Haynes auto repair books. And anyone who wants to work on the LeSabre can pull the parts and use the books to work on it. Sometimes we find loose bolts on the floor, but the publicity has been really positive. Although the carpet will never be the same.
We also contacted a local swingers club and now have members to volunteer on our display in front of the 613.96 area. This is where we have our sex instruction books. The volunteers vary each day from one-on-one to groups to furries to adult babies. And this has not cost the library one penny. The publicity has been awesome, but just as with the LeSabre, the carpet will never be the same. I think we'll have to burn it.
But this money hasn't been wasted since the library offers downloadable ebooks and audiobooks. And if we have the book for it, we also need the items the book references. That's just common sense.
These devices are necessary to promote the use of the service. Just as all libraries have always done with all of the materials we loan. We've had a display for DVD players, CD players and VCRs for our movies and music; Computers sit near the computer books; there's a convection oven/microwave and a bread maker over by the cookbooks.
We have a goat over in the animal husbandry section. And snakes; do we have snakes! The terrarium is filled with their slimy, writhing grotesqueness.
And our religion section includes a visiting Buddhist and a Wiccan. Mostly because they are the only two who seem to be able to get along without trying to kill one another.
Look. Feel. Play. That's our library's motto.
And State Law requires that all employees must wash their hands after helping patrons in the stacks. That's just common sense.