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Feb 25, 2005



Michael Gorman's opinion is so stupid that it made me laugh.

However, Jeff, your opinion on libraries and library patrons ranks up there with Gorman's on bloggers. Have you read a book lately, or do you just Google? Do you realize that you offered yourself as an example of Gorman's "Blog People"?

Michael Parekh

I looked up his LATimes piece, Google and the Mind of God (, and he's even more on the edge...hasn't he heard of Google, Yahoo! and now Microsoft's efforts to work with libraries and make them part of the digitized world not just of information, but also of knowledge??

Thanks for the heads up.


I just finished reading Ketchum's "Saratoga: Turning Point of America's Revolutionary War". How about you? Believe it or not, one does not require a library card in order to find, procure and read a book. I mostly use the search function in Amazon, B&N, and of course google to find interseting books, and because I read a lot of history I use the references notes in the books themselves to find other works that I want to read. In fact, I haven't been to a library in at least a decade. If that's an example of being Gorman's Blog People, then I take it as a compliment.

I think libraries are a relic of an age past and would prefer that my tax dollars not go into supporting large networks of them. As a society we would be better served by using those tax dollars to improve literacy (which is a requirement for reading anyways) and improving access to technology for low income, disabled, and senior citizens. I do believe that as an archive for historical works, rare books, and the out of print, libraries are essential... but not for picking up a copy of the latest Tom Clancy thriller.


Jeff -- See my response in the trackback section...


I wrote a response to Gorman - see

Steve Shu

FWIW - here's a link about what libraries are doing with blogs ... it's not exactly a short list ...


excellent, I've been thinking about reading up on Japan 1920-1940, it dovetails nicely with my interest in WWII history. You will have to let me know your recomendation on the Hirohito book.

I think we agree on many points, I would like to see the resources that are being used to support many suburban libraries diverted to improving access to technology for all young people. I don't disagree that urban libraries serve a valuable function, but as a society we will be a lot better off by working through the copyright issues and digitizing vast amounts of content. In other words, out society will be vastly better off by making libraries truly obsolete.

Imagine a world where a school library contained no books, but was a study center with computers with access to everything ever put into print, search technology that made all that content searchable, and finally, people who helped students learn how to use information to their advantage. We're not doing that today.

Also, to be clear on something, I'm not an advocate of padlocking every library today without doing the other work to make a better system realized. People like Gorman want to freeze time and preserve the status quo.

David Locke

Well, if you don't have a library card, then you have to have a credit card.

From a public libary perspective, blogging like reading your email at the library can be a problem. Here locally you have to sign up to use the computer and then you only have so many minutes.

Libraries will have books that you can't find at the bookstore. They will have books that are out of print. They will have books from a long time ago. And, no Google is nowhere good enough.

I'm not going to the library these days, but I did notice that the local one is pretty good. I'm not buying books either. I can't afford it at the moment. I have tons of books that I've bought in the past, and the policy is now not to buy books. A lot of the books I have can't even be sold at Half Price Books, so I'm stuck with them for the time being.

Yes, you can find good content on the web, but you can't find everything you want. It is unlikely that you ever will. Too much content that you can find freely at a university library is behind a login on the web.


okay, enough. I understand that people borrow books at the library to read that they may not be able to afford or even find, but to be quite honest, I'd rather my tax $$ go to improving literacy through dedicated programs, enhancing access to technology for students, disadvantaged, and seniors, and finally, making hardcopy material available in digital format. I'd rather my tax dollars go to strategic goals that improve society as a whole, as opposed to my tax dollars supporting your reading habits.


So you are for "improving literacy through dedicated programs, enhancing access to technology for students, disadvantaged, and seniors"? Did you know that there is a place in your town, pretty close to the intersection of Middlefield and East Meadow for one, where not only can people find books, the reading of which improves literacy, free of charge, on topics of interest to them, but Seniors, the Disadvantaged, and Students all have access to technology, also free of charge. You see they have these computers there that any patron can use, at a place where those patrons already are. It is a public library. But I'm sure you're right; we need to start from scratch to come up with some scheme to promote these goals.

I'd be careful about mocking perfectly productive, if curmudgeonly, CSU Fresno librarians if I were you.

Stanford : CSU Fresno :: Kliener Perkins : ?


It's one of the benefits of having my own blog, I can mock at will. You think the words Kleiner Perkins on your business card mean something more than the words themselves?

Insofar as public libraries as learning centers, I can say with absolute certainty that in terms of efficacy, moving literacy programs into schools, especially low income districts, is superior to any program that a local public library can offer. One of our nonprofits, YES Reading, is having fantastic results working with non-native English speaking middle school students and preparing them for high school. It's a great program that could easily scale to cover the entire Bay Area with more resources, and that's just one example.

Reaching seniors and disadvantaged is another no-brainer, you go to them rather than expecting them to come to you, especially when many of the seniors that you most need access to are not mobile.

Sorry, you're argument is not compelling.

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