Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Do Libraries Avoid Amazon For Ideological Reasons?

Recent conversations at work have led me to wonder, do all libraries not do business with Amazon?

Until recently I had assumed various issues- like oversight by the city- which were of the sort that necessitated political action that no one had really gotten around to yet.

But now I am wonder if Amazon is opening 400 new brick and mortar stores because the ALA has frozen them out of public libraries.

I've actually heard the words 'vanity publishing' to describe what is currently the de facto way of publishing. Plenty of good authors- dare I say experts, even- choose this mode of publishing because it is easier.

Indeed, all indications are that what will be left of mainstream publishing a few houses that manage to make life easier for good authors, probably after they've published a thing or two.

This leads me to my new impression. The libraries, right along with publishers like Tor, and the more rabid SJWs are, instead of embracing reality, doubling down on the narrative. Their bubble is imploding, and instead of getting out of it, they stay in and insist the only legitimate sources are those inside the bubble.

Do any public libraries buy books from Amazon?

Does anyone actually use the internet to find experts on particular subjects and then buy their books or books they recommend?

Has anyone considered skipping the ALA conference and going to one of a variety of conferences to learn more about a particular subject, so that they then can put some decent stuff about that subject on the shelves?

Any understanding of institutional integrity as a library would lead one, rather shortly, to this conclusion: the most relevant thing about a library is a good book on the shelf. No technology is needed, and the maximum number of people across the socio-economic spectrum can access it. There are a lot of other things that can be done, depending on budget and particularities of local conditions, but the farther you wander away from this basic observation, the more danger you are in of losing institutional integrity and becoming a fraud.

Many people say libraries are dead. A real library wouldn't be, but these frauds certainly are. We route around and go find the knowledge where it is. If we particularly like libraries, we'll give it yet another chance, and check the catalog for one of the books our online searches on a particular subject suggests to us. But how many times will anyone keep doing that?

And as our cities tank, because of debt, and the tax take dries up because of the poor economy, how much longer do you get preference, especially if the people that visit you feel cheated? When the bread and circuses you provide are already provided pretty cheaply by Netflix? When the out of work come to the library looking for some knowledge that might materially help them improve their lives, but find it full of Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey instead?

No comments: