Libraries across the country are struggling with reduced budgets as a result of the recession. Cuts have come at the same time demand for library services are at an all time high. A recent report from the American Library Association said while providing what many state and local governments view as an easy target for budget-slashing people depend on libraries now more than ever.
How is Clark County's library system doing? The Las Vegas Sun reported Clark County Library's budget was cut by 9 percent last year and the system laid off 96 employees. Those cuts also resulted in reduced hours and services at local libraries.
Meantime the emergence of e-books has changed the way publishers and libraries work together and sometimes make it hard for libraries to offer fee-free access.
What are libraries doing to keep up with the digital age and reduced budget cuts? We'll talk with the head of Clark County Libraries about services in Las Vegas and keeping up with a changing book industry.
1. Please stop buying books that are "for Dummies" or for "Idiots" those titles are insulting to the citizens and their content is not kept current.
2. The collection in Clark County has FAR TOO MANY books about murder and other crime, and VERY FEW books that teach traditional Judeo-Christian values, practical knowledge (unless you want a get rich quick scheme) or books that provide tales of real people making real triumphs over the challenges that they face in life.
STOP pandering to the lowest possible interests, and start promoting a better society, with more books with a positive message and/or constructive values.
3. In the outlying areas, start a Library Auxiliary (not a "friends group") that would function like our volunteer fire and rescue crews. These volunteers could be trained to do all of the library functions, and could supplement (but not replace or take hours from) current paid staff. J. Tyler Ballance –May 8, 2012 23:14:21 PM
Comments on selected issue above:
(1.) "Dummies" and "Complete Idiot" books are key to keeping people coming in to keep abreast of the rapidly changing technical fields and toys they own. These books are written in ENGLISH, not tech-speak. Anyone can read and understand. AND I DO AGREE the collection of these need to be kept up to date.
(3.) I do agree there needs to be an augmentation of the staff. The FRIENDS has a mission, it is seemingly very different the the 'Friends' groups I 'back east' that used and trained volunteers to checkout and shelve books. I am sure LVCCLD, like Henderson has a volunteer group, it may not be utilized as well. But if you are talking about doing 'librarian' work like REFERENCE - there are some real and imagined obstacles. Myself, a retired librarian, would be able to handle some of these chores. A true volunteer would need lots of training - taking away from the daily work.
I hope the LVCCLD folk read your comments.Rob Lindley –May 12, 2012 10:10:50 AM
The connection of all of our library districts is wonderful. Knowing that Libraries in areas of California are closed or have very short hours we are doing well.
We use books on tape as 'drive time" stories when traveling. The extras space for meeting and the geneaology library info is great along with the Friends of the library sales. madeline –May 8, 2012 10:15:59 AM