Jul 24, 2017

Multnomah County doesn't need another mega-library

Do we really need another monument to the 19th century  by building another mega-library in east Multnomah county? Didn't Multnomah county learn anything from the failures of Barnes & Noble, Blockbuster video, and Radio Shack?

First, some kudos to our current library system: They have the all traditional media you know and love . You can reserve any books, DVD's and more from any of Multnomah County library's branches, and they will truck it to the library branch, most convenient for you, where you can pick it up, free!

Second, the internet. Our libraries have internet access on computers in the libraries. You can surf for free! The libraries also have free Wi-Fi if you bring your device to the library.

Next: most of our libraries have meeting space for  special programming such as seminars, teach-ins, kids storytelling, reading groups, neighbor groups, playtime, or whatever. Mostly for free!

Given all the ultra awesome stuff our libraries already provide, what would be the value added by building another mega-sized gigantic brick and mortar library in east county? Why spend mega millions to build another mega-sized library? This is 19th century thinking. Brick and mortar is dying away.  The "cloud"  is the future for libraries.

Why spend hundreds of millions of the tax dollars it would take to build another mega-library? Why spend millions of dollars annually in salary, benefits etc for the hundreds of new employees that would be required to staff another mega-library??

Instead, why not spend just a few million bucks (or hit up Bezos, Zuckerberg, Musk etc. for a "donation") and buy tens of thousands of tablets, laptops, and other awesome devices that people could check out from their closest library, just like people now check out books!

Give library patrons hands-on device training at their local branch when they "check out" their device! Just like how the Apple stores and Xfinity stores do it now! Why not add an option for Wi-Fi at a minimal cost. Better yet, people could access free Wi-Fi at the thousands of coffee shops, stores,schools etc people use now.

Multnomah County leaders need less Jurassic park thinking and more Buzz Lightyear creativity. We don't need to go back to the stone age by building a dinosaur of a temple to the past- a mega library. We need to go to "infinity...and beyond!!" by investing in modern technology, for all!

May 7, 2017