I spoke with City Council member Vincent Gentile and Eileen Muller of DC37 Local 1842 and Valentin Colon of DC 37 Local 1930 about the future of New York City libraries. Then we heard from David Braun, president and co-founder of United for Action, about fracking in New York.
I write here about my experience not as an administrator since I am not one of those, or even as a librarian although I am one of those. I offer this opinion only as an impenitent bin rat that has collected songs going back to the original days of vinyl.
Pew found that 91 percent of Americans (16 or older) say that public libraries are important to their communities, and 76 percent say libraries are important to them and their families. I can't think of another idea, place, or issue that 91 percent of Americans support.
Today, librarians are the men and women who help us to find our way along the electronic highway, and there are no more intellectually rigorous, imaginative, and professional tour guides one could find, online or off.
We don't expect most other forms of entertainment to come without a price. Most of us pay for cable or satellite TV. We pay for the Internet connections in our homes. Compared to other ways we entertain ourselves, books are not that expensive.
Has anyone seen a "used" e-book? No. Not a one. Because they don't exist. Every e-book purchased is a new e-book. The reason for that is that book publishers have come to control the market for e-books in a way that other industries envy.