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(Foodbeast)   There's Hope: America's Libraries Outnumber McDonald's & Starbucks   (foodbeast.com) divider line 52
    More: Cool, Mcdonald, Libraries Outnumber, Starbucks, public libraries, library  
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1909 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Jun 2013 at 12:20 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-18 12:08:29 PM  
Whether or not they're actually being used is another question.

Recently drove down the street where my old neighborhood library was, and they had shut it down. Now it's just a big, red abandoned building with graffiti all over it. I used to do their summer reading program (always read enough books for tickets to Astroworld).

I'm guessing this also included libraries at schools. My college had 5 libraries on campus and only one 2 McDonald's/Starbucks nearby.
 
2013-06-18 12:22:09 PM  
Then again in my city the majority of library patrons are there to use the internet, not read books.
 
2013-06-18 12:22:14 PM  
 
2013-06-18 12:24:20 PM  
Clearly this means we need to open more McDonald's in libraries.
 
2013-06-18 12:25:09 PM  
As soon as homeless people can use Starbucks and McDonalds to masturbate and shoot up, libraries are in trouble.
 
2013-06-18 12:26:46 PM  
Wait, I thought most Barnes & Noble stores had Starbucks built into them.
 
2013-06-18 12:30:33 PM  

ModernLuddite: As soon as homeless people can use Starbucks and McDonalds to masturbate and shoot up, libraries are in trouble.


They already do -- that's why a lot of coffee shops / fast food restaurants have locks on their public bathrooms.
 
2013-06-18 12:30:59 PM  

scottydoesntknow: Whether or not they're actually being used is another question.

Recently drove down the street where my old neighborhood library was, and they had shut it down. Now it's just a big, red abandoned building with graffiti all over it. I used to do their summer reading program (always read enough books for tickets to Astroworld).

I'm guessing this also included libraries at schools. My college had 5 libraries on campus and only one 2 McDonald's/Starbucks nearby.


Several of my local libraries are simply a large room of computers with homepages pointing to the library online reference site and a few magazine racks with entertainment mags. If you want a paper book, you can order one and they'll ship it from the main library (which has only four computers and a lot of books) across town or the next big city over. Most of the requests appear to be for audio and e-books. There is currently a pretty hefty budget issue in the district which is the reason given for running such a lean library system. Yes, my university had 3 very large libraries on campus, so I also would not be surprised if they accounted for most of the libraries.
 
2013-06-18 12:35:35 PM  
It's true. I have a library in my apartment but I do not have a Starbucks or a McDonald's.

On the other hand, I usually bring my McNuggets home and warm them up. I should stop this because it's healthier to eat first and then walk home, as well as saving energy, especially during the summer when I don't need the oven and the AC working at cross-purposes. Also, eating McNuggets puts me to sleep half the time. I think I must be pre-diabetic. It's the Coke and fries that do the damage, most likely, although McNuggets full of fat, salt and sugar.

I have some Starbucks instant coffee. It's not bad as instant coffee sachets go, but it's a lot more expensive than regular instant coffee. I don't have the knack of making really good coffee, but I have an Espresso Maker (one of those little Italian ceramic and aluminum percolators) and it makes good strong coffee although I almost never use it.

It takes a population of 50,000 or more people to support a McDonald's franchise. A small public library can serve a much smaller population. A Starbucks I don't know. It seems that they can survive any place where there is another Starbucks across the street.

Our public library has a coffee shop in it and a used bookstore. But unlike the bookstore in Clerks: The Animated Series, there is not a tiny bookstore in the coffee shop in the bookstore, selling miniature pornographic books.
 
2013-06-18 12:36:57 PM  
This is our public Library in New Braunfels, TX.

The staff is friendly. The catalog is up to date, The children's section looks like a high end Barnes and Noble.

The place is seriously heaven for me and my 5 year old.

I salute you, NB Public Library. You are everything that is right with government.
www.eatoncontracting.com
 
2013-06-18 12:40:25 PM  
America's Libraries Outnumber McDonald's & Starbucks

GOP: Challenge accepted
 
2013-06-18 12:42:17 PM  
I wish our library had better books in the non-fiction adult section. Most of those are somewhat out of date (esp any computer related books) and overly simplified. To do any research you really can't use them for much.

 The children's area seems well done though! Lots and lots of books there. The adult fiction section is about what you'd expect.

 Our library does pretty well for being in a small town. It's clean and the staff is friendly.
 
2013-06-18 12:42:33 PM  
Google "how many public libraries in the US".  First result, American Library Association
http://www.ala.org/tools/libfactsheets/alalibraryfactsheet01

And their number shows fewer than either Starbucks or McDonald's.

Article fails.
 
2013-06-18 12:51:26 PM  

MisterRonbo: Google "how many public libraries in the US".  First result, American Library Association
http://www.ala.org/tools/libfactsheets/alalibraryfactsheet01

And their number shows fewer than either Starbucks or McDonald's.

Article fails.


Yeah - my poor 2006 Macbook cries when I try to open that page, but I can't imagine what methodology TFA used to come up with this 'fact'.

/libraries here in Denver are always packed -- folks picking up holds, others getting access to the Internet, a handful browsing the shelves, meetings being held, teens sitting around and reading (!), and (at the Central location at least) homeless folks stinking up the bathrooms.
//doesn't help that this particular location is a stone's throw from one of the better places in the city to make a drug deal
///but, hey, the library's for everyone, right?
 
2013-06-18 12:52:08 PM  
"The library connects us with the insight and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species. I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries."
Carl Sagan
 
2013-06-18 12:54:26 PM  

scottydoesntknow: I'm guessing this also included libraries at schools. My college had 5 libraries on campus and only one 2 McDonald's/Starbucks nearby.


They were only counting individual branches of public libraries.

MisterRonbo: Google "how many public libraries in the US".  First result, American Library Association
http://www.ala.org/tools/libfactsheets/alalibraryfactsheet01

And their number shows fewer than either Starbucks or McDonald's.

Article fails.


I see 16,698 public library buildings (central and branch) listed on that page, which is what the linked article/map-thingy was counting, which is greater than Foodbeast's given 11,000 and 14,000 Stabucks and McDonald's (respectively) locations.
 
2013-06-18 12:59:20 PM  

MisterRonbo: Google "how many public libraries in the US".  First result, American Library Association
http://www.ala.org/tools/libfactsheets/alalibraryfactsheet01

And their number shows fewer than either Starbucks or McDonald's.

Article fails.


Oh yeah, and also: the ALA stats page and the map in the link both derive their numbers from the same place, the IMLS. The guy who did the map is a statistician for said IMLS department.
 
2013-06-18 12:59:23 PM  

lilbjorn: America's Libraries Outnumber McDonald's & Starbucks

GOP: Challenge accepted


THIS.  Cities are crumbling - basic survival services like police and waste removal are being cut - because lawmakers shunt money into corporate coffers.  So what's more important to keep: firefighters or libraries?

Unless things start to change in the US, libraries will continue to die.  Perhaps the city will have *a* library, but not the branches to serve people where they live nor the money to buy materials that people want or hire people to keep the building open hours that people use it.
 
2013-06-18 01:05:24 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: lilbjorn: America's Libraries Outnumber McDonald's & Starbucks

GOP: Challenge accepted

THIS.  Cities are crumbling - basic survival services like police and waste removal are being cut - because lawmakers shunt money into corporate coffers.  So what's more important to keep: firefighters or libraries?

Unless things start to change in the US, libraries will continue to die.  Perhaps the city will have *a* library, but not the branches to serve people where they live nor the money to buy materials that people want or hire people to keep the building open hours that people use it.


Some states are looking at allowing corporations into the library system to try to make them profitable enough to not be closed completely in many areas of the country. Of course, advocates for middle income and below families have issues with this. It will be interesting to see if "public" libraries can even maintain what they have with more people frequently turning to electronic libraries or media and seeing fewer reasons to visit them.
 
2013-06-18 01:09:20 PM  
At first it just didn't seem like it could be true to me, but then I realized all the little towns in the middle of nowhere at least have a library even if they don't have a stop light or any national stores.

In a place with any sort of population density, no way are there more libraries than McDonalds.
 
2013-06-18 01:13:24 PM  
Yes, but not by enough.
 
2013-06-18 01:17:30 PM  

pkellmey: It will be interesting to see if "public" libraries can even maintain what they have with more people frequently turning to electronic libraries or media and seeing fewer reasons to visit them.


Are there places online where I can borrow any book I want for free?

Also, the library nearest to me is still packed.  People go to do more than borrow books, they also read magazines, take classes, participate in children's reading programs, use the computers, listen to music, or even some low key socializing.  We hold our neighborhood meetings there.
 
2013-06-18 01:18:02 PM  

pkellmey: Benevolent Misanthrope: lilbjorn: America's Libraries Outnumber McDonald's & Starbucks

GOP: Challenge accepted

THIS.  Cities are crumbling - basic survival services like police and waste removal are being cut - because lawmakers shunt money into corporate coffers.  So what's more important to keep: firefighters or libraries?

Unless things start to change in the US, libraries will continue to die.  Perhaps the city will have *a* library, but not the branches to serve people where they live nor the money to buy materials that people want or hire people to keep the building open hours that people use it.

Some states are looking at allowing corporations into the library system to try to make them profitable enough to not be closed completely in many areas of the country. Of course, advocates for middle income and below families have issues with this. It will be interesting to see if "public" libraries can even maintain what they have with more people frequently turning to electronic libraries or media and seeing fewer reasons to visit them.


I used to work for LSSI, the for-profit company that does this.  They don't go to library conferences - only City Manager ones.  They claim they can do it better and cheaper - what they do is have a well-known "face" come in as Director, fire everyone, hire 2/3 of them back at lower wages, install a new, unqualified Director, and implement a carefully formed plan to bilk every last dime they can from the city since no one but the librarians know how it's SUPPOSED to run and therefore no one is looking.  There's no accountability, in other words.

Their collection development plan is pure genius, for example.  People outside of libraries have no idea how much money they spend on materials - books, CDs and the like.  The contract states that, if the City doesn't give them a new materials budget by 30 days before end of contract year, they will take the last month, multiply it by 12, and that will be the next year's budget.  LSSI takes a 5% "handling fee" on everything ordered under the materials budget.  So, they do the ordering at year end - tons of it - get a higher book budget, take their 5% off the top, and leverage their agreements with book vendors to order whatever the hell will make them the most profit without regard to what the library actually needs or the user want.  It's a license to print money, really, if there's no one to notice.  And who would?  The Director is their employee, and way out of his or her league usually, unwilling to risk being fired from a job that represented a huge leap for their career.

I won't go into anything that could get me sued under my non-disclosure agreement... but really, when a company gets thrown out of Jersey City for corruption, maybe you should take a closer look before hiring them.

Just sayin'.
 
2013-06-18 01:27:30 PM  

manimal2878: pkellmey: It will be interesting to see if "public" libraries can even maintain what they have with more people frequently turning to electronic libraries or media and seeing fewer reasons to visit them.

Are there places online where I can borrow any book I want for free?


Yes, yes there are. Did you mean for free? That is another question entirely.
 
2013-06-18 01:28:29 PM  

pkellmey: manimal2878: pkellmey: It will be interesting to see if "public" libraries can even maintain what they have with more people frequently turning to electronic libraries or media and seeing fewer reasons to visit them.

Are there places online where I can borrow any book I want for free?

Yes, yes there are. Did you mean for free and legally? That is another question entirely.


I accidentally missed the important addition.
 
2013-06-18 01:48:46 PM  

pkellmey: It will be interesting to see if "public" libraries can even maintain what they have with more people frequently turning to electronic libraries or media and seeing fewer reasons to visit them.


"Public library" and "electronic library" aren't mutually exclusive-- I'd daresay most (or at least, a majority of) public libraries these days have a digital "branch" (usually serviced by intermediaries like OverDrive and Freegal). Libraries also offer more services than just serving as a book repository. Free information literacy classes, storytime and summer reading programs, various fun 'miscellaneous' classes aren't easily transferred to the web in an equivalent way.

manimal2878: Are there places online where I can borrow any book I want for free?


*clears throat awkwardly* That statement really deserves a footnote along the lines of: after you wait several weeks or months for a popular book to work through the waitlist or for it to be shipped through ILL. It's a wonderful and true statement; it's just that people like their instant gratification... which is why some libraries have started experimenting with little "Buy this book" plug-ins to the catalog, for which the library would get a small kickback.
 
2013-06-18 01:57:35 PM  

pkellmey: Did you mean for free and legally?


Yes, like a library.
 
2013-06-18 02:00:39 PM  

manimal2878: pkellmey: Did you mean for free and legally?

Yes, like a library.


As has been pointed out by other posters, not all libraries are free and up to date. It all depends on the resources of the area involved. However, there are free ways to get anything for the determined.
 
2013-06-18 02:01:00 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: pkellmey: Benevolent Misanthrope: lilbjorn: America's Libraries Outnumber McDonald's & Starbucks

GOP: Challenge accepted

THIS.  Cities are crumbling - basic survival services like police and waste removal are being cut - because lawmakers shunt money into corporate coffers.  So what's more important to keep: firefighters or libraries?

Unless things start to change in the US, libraries will continue to die.  Perhaps the city will have *a* library, but not the branches to serve people where they live nor the money to buy materials that people want or hire people to keep the building open hours that people use it.

Some states are looking at allowing corporations into the library system to try to make them profitable enough to not be closed completely in many areas of the country. Of course, advocates for middle income and below families have issues with this. It will be interesting to see if "public" libraries can even maintain what they have with more people frequently turning to electronic libraries or media and seeing fewer reasons to visit them.

I used to work for LSSI, the for-profit company that does this.  They don't go to library conferences - only City Manager ones.  They claim they can do it better and cheaper - what they do is have a well-known "face" come in as Director, fire everyone, hire 2/3 of them back at lower wages, install a new, unqualified Director, and implement a carefully formed plan to bilk every last dime they can from the city since no one but the librarians know how it's SUPPOSED to run and therefore no one is looking.  There's no accountability, in other words.

Their collection development plan is pure genius, for example.  People outside of libraries have no idea how much money they spend on materials - books, CDs and the like.  The contract states that, if the City doesn't give them a new materials budget by 30 days before end of contract year, they will take the last month, multiply it by 12, and that will be the next year's budge ...


I pretty much think this is how every privatization of a government service works.
 
2013-06-18 02:01:45 PM  

pkellmey: manimal2878: pkellmey: Did you mean for free and legally?

Yes, like a library.

As has been pointed out by other posters, not all libraries are free and up to date. It all depends on the resources of the area involved. However, there are free ways to get anything for the determined.


So is that a no?
 
2013-06-18 02:03:07 PM  

manimal2878: pkellmey: manimal2878: pkellmey: Did you mean for free and legally?

Yes, like a library.

As has been pointed out by other posters, not all libraries are free and up to date. It all depends on the resources of the area involved. However, there are free ways to get anything for the determined.

So is that a no?


Even for some libraries.
 
2013-06-18 02:07:56 PM  
Sigh.  Math logic fail.

"Libraries outnumber mcdonalds or starbucks." is correct.  "Libraries outnumber mcdonalds and starbucks" is incorrect.

"Libraries outnumber mcdonalds and outnumber starbucks" is also correct.
 
2013-06-18 02:08:46 PM  
Benevolent Misanthrope: pkellmey: Benevolent Misanthrope: lilbjorn: America's Libraries Outnumber McDonald's & Starbucks

GOP: Challenge accepted

THIS.  Cities are crumbling - basic survival services like police and waste removal are being cut - because lawmakers shunt money into corporate coffers.  So what's more important to keep: firefighters or libraries?

Unless things start to change in the US, libraries will continue to die.  Perhaps the city will have *a* library, but not the branches to serve people where they live nor the money to buy materials that people want or hire people to keep the building open hours that people use it.

Some states are looking at allowing corporations into the library system to try to make them profitable enough to not be closed completely in many areas of the country. Of course, advocates for middle income and below families have issues with this. It will be interesting to see if "public" libraries can even maintain what they have with more people frequently turning to electronic libraries or media and seeing fewer reasons to visit them.

I used to work for LSSI, the for-profit company that does this.  They don't go to library conferences...<explanation of LSSI method>


I pretty much think this is how every privatization of a government service works.

Yep.  The difference is, people don;t tend to know how much work goes on behind the scenes, how much money is spent or how it all happens.  To most people, it looks like a free bookstore.  There's alot more going on.  And since libraries generally are self-minding and no one has had to look into them before, it's easy for a for-profit entity to hide their nefarious deeds.

Allegedly.
 
2013-06-18 02:15:26 PM  
Unfortunately, of the three places in the headline, the library is usually empty.
 
2013-06-18 02:18:22 PM  

manimal2878: pkellmey: Did you mean for free and legally?

Yes, like a library.


If you are from out of town and read a book at the library, It is free. Otherwise, nothing at the library is 'free'.
 
2013-06-18 02:40:23 PM  

AliceBToklasLives: manimal2878: pkellmey: Did you mean for free and legally?

Yes, like a library.

If you are from out of town and read a book at the library, It is free. Otherwise, nothing at the library is 'free'.


Hey thanks.  I didn't realize that our local taxes fund the library and it's not actually free.  If you didn't come along to point that out I would have had no idea.
 
2013-06-18 03:04:27 PM  
Good, much harder to surf porn at Starbucks and McDonalds. Libraries is where it's at!
 
2013-06-18 03:10:46 PM  
My local library (Flowery Branch, GA) is right down the street from me.  When I briefly lived in Pennsylvania, it was within walking distance of my house.
 
2013-06-18 03:44:48 PM  

manimal2878: Are there places online where I can borrow any book I want for free?


Actually yes, there are, although for a subset of "any" (not that any library has "any" book either). My county library, for one. I can go onto the library website, which links me through to OverDrive, and borrow digital books for my Kindle (which are delivered through Amazon). It's really quite amazing, honestly. The selection is somewhat limited but still pretty wide IMHO.

For the past couple of years I've been a heavy user of our county library system but it's been >5 years since I've set foot in a B&M library branch.
 
2013-06-18 04:07:28 PM  

super_grass: Wait, I thought most Barnes & Noble stores had Starbucks built into them.


No, they have B&N coffee shops that serve Starbucks brand coffee.
 
2013-06-18 04:10:28 PM  
Yeah but can the library serve me a Big Mac and one of those big ass-coffees?
 
2013-06-18 04:28:44 PM  
I am continually annoyed by people who trumpet libraries' obsolescence because INTERNET, and then comment on how people only seem to go to a library to use the computer.

That's not a paradigm shift for public libraries, guys. Just a shift in media.
 
2013-06-18 05:14:11 PM  

DubtodaIll: BUT NOT SUBWAY


That can't be right.  How are there more Subways than McDonalds??  I mean like almost double??
 
2013-06-18 05:17:10 PM  
I honestly call bullshiat on this.  It is a nice, feelgood story, but you can throw a rock and hit a McD's or Starbucks.  Not so much for the library.  I hate myself for it but I see no use for current libraries (at least in my area).  If you want to do real research you end up going to gscholar or ILL from a university library.  Our local libraries all have horrible SQL, very few reference books, and more games and dvds than books.  It is basically a taxpayer RedBox lol.  I really don't know what to say.  I would want to kick my teeth in also.  It is a shiat state of affairs.

Are they including those little pick up and dropoff storefronts that the libraries use as being locations?  Either way I know this has to be horseshiat and await the followup.
 
2013-06-18 05:23:08 PM  
Can't they just turn the old typewriter rooms into a masterbation area?
 
2013-06-18 06:12:55 PM  
Thank goodness the homeless will always have somewhere to go to look up porn and whack off... Now what are we supposed to do about the current generation not knowing what a book is?
 
2013-06-18 07:24:59 PM  

ChimbleySweep: *clears throat awkwardly* That statement really deserves a footnote along the lines of: after you wait several weeks or months for a popular book to work through the waitlist or for it to be shipped through ILL. It's a wonderful and true statement; it's just that people like their instant gratification... which is why some libraries have started experimenting with little "Buy this book" plug-ins to the catalog, for which the library would get a small kickback.


Yeah, we'd love to buy more popular books but it's a tough balancing act.  We currently have 25 copies of Dan Brown's newest book and more than 100 holds.  Do we buy more copies so people don't have to wait a month?  What happens when interest dies down in August and we've now got 20 copies sitting on the shelves all the time?  Thankfully, people don't typically get upset about having to wait for new books because they know they're getting it for free.

E-books, too, are about money.  A best-selling e-book (assuming the publisher will sell to libraries) runs $80 per copy.  And they're checked out and returned just like regular books (online obviously).  Thankfully, our demand isn't as high for e-books yet.
 
2013-06-18 08:07:24 PM  
I'd rather shoot up at Chik-Filet.
 
2013-06-18 08:31:52 PM  
Libraries: Three within 1 mile Closest is about .5 miles
Starbucks: Closest is about 1.5 miles away
McDonald's: Closest is 1.5 miles

On the other hand, There are three Dunkin Donuts and one Burger King within 1 mile.
 
2013-06-18 08:39:25 PM  

downstairs: DubtodaIll: BUT NOT SUBWAY

That can't be right.  How are there more Subways than McDonalds??  I mean like almost double??


There are a lot of Subways in gas stations and Walmarts. They are sneaky like that
 
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