E-books spark outcry at Palo Alto libraries | November 19, 2010 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - November 19, 2010

E-books spark outcry at Palo Alto libraries

As city plans to reduce print collection in favor of e-books, some see move as 'betrayal' of city's earlier promise

by Gennady Sheyner

Palo Alto City Councilman Greg Scharff announced earlier this month that he has given up on "real books."

This story contains 1591 words.

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Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner can be e-mailed at gsheyner@paweekly.com.


Posted by svatoid, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 19, 2010 at 6:48 am

"Members of the group Friends of the Palo Alto Library (FOPAL), which sells books (the traditional kind) to raise money for local libraries, have come out swinging against a new proposal by the library staff and consulting architects to reduce shelving and increase seating at the Main Library — a setup that would lead to fewer print volumes at the library."

Naturally FOPAL is against e-books. AS the use of e-books rises, the need for traditional books will decline--and with that the influence of FOPAL. They are trying to protect their turf. That means that our libraries should remain as quaint 19th century structures. I am surprised they have not come out against wi-fi and computers in the library.
Too bad that FOPAL ha sto resort to threats to get their point across (""If they want to pass another bond measure in the next eon, they better not do it," she said.")
This is another example of where a small vocal group has forced their mindset on the community at large. Time for FOPAL to step into the 21st century

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 19, 2010 at 7:46 am

This argument was made by many before the vote on the bond, but it was made to deaf ears. Now we are being forced to pay for a library we don't have and won't have.

This is just like paying off a car loan on a car that has been totalled.

Posted by Anon, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 19, 2010 at 8:16 am

I don't see printed books disappearing myself-- but, if they do, then, we don't need "libraries". Let Starbucks deal with coffee-guzzling business people and their laptops.

Posted by Neighbor, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 19, 2010 at 12:53 pm

I'm glad the Mitchell Park library is being built as part of a larger Community Center. If digital reading obsoletes libraries, the library section at MP can become part of a larger Community Center facility.

The lease with the School District for Cubberley ends in January 2014, I don't think the City should either renew or even consider extending that lease; let the PAUSD have that deteriorating bunch of 1950s classrooms back.

The local south PA community will have the new Mitchell Park library and community center facility anyway, to use well into the future.

Posted by What was the poll for?, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 19, 2010 at 3:10 pm

If the library was going to continue to reduce its collections, why did it misrepresent the purpose of the bond, which they said was to make more space for collections.
That's what we said we wanted in the poll they did before the bond election. Were we snookered into spending 78 million dollars for public living rooms and childcare centers? Was the poll just to give them strategies for promoting the bond?
The announcement of the death of the book is premature, Greg Scharff's silly experience notwithstanding.

Posted by Anon, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 20, 2010 at 2:00 pm

As previously stated, I don't agree that printed materials are dead. But, if they really are, then, we are building the wrong buildings. Libraries are slightly unusual, with the need to support heavy floor loadings and bookshelves that don't tip over in earthquakes. If we need to build a large coffee shop/laptop room, the construction costs will be lower.

Let's finish the library rebuild/renovation for books, and, deal with the coffee shop/laptop building later if we need to.

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