Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Shut up and stack

This guy has an interesting point of view.

I think that libraries have done themselves a bit of a disservice by offering all that internet access anyway. More specifically, why should libraries allow people to come to the library for email? (Which, I understand, is a fairly sizeable percentage of what patrons want.)

Think about it. What is email?? Just another form of communication, right? People can communicate via phone, USPS, FAX and email. But people don't come to the library to use our phones, our FAX machine, or to mail letters. (Well, they may try, but they won't have any luck.) So why would we let them use our equipment and bandwidth to send and receive email?

My latest project my administration has asked me to accomplish is to set up an "email only" machine. Would we ever dream of setting up a telephone for our patrons to use? Would we ever dream of setting up a FAX machine for anyone to come in and use?? Then I maintain that there is no basis for the arguement that a library is obligated to offer access to email.

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