P.R. expense for library raises some questions

Bernie Sloan should get credit for noticing a good quote in This IndyStar.com Article. While it focuses mainly on The Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library and the $40 million in cost overruns and then another $60k for "marketing."The interesting part, for me at least, is how the article looks at libraries. "Public libraries nationally are cutting staff, feeling the Internet heat and facing competition from bookstores and film rental outlets."
Former County Auditor and former City-County Councilman Curt Coonrod: "Looking ahead to the information age, this is just not the way people get their information," he said of the library's store of books. "That's true even today, let alone 20 years from now, when the bonds are still outstanding." Although he adds, Libraries remain as popular as mother and apple pie to the public. "We were all brought up to think that libraries are good things -- and they are,"
Even library CEO Linda Mielke: "Google is replacing the professional librarian, she has said. Libraries must stock best-selling books and DVDs to keep pace."

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I still feel needed

Google has not even begun to threaten my job as a public librarian. What Google and other electronic resources HAS done is force us (public librarians) to learn new skills, change what we purchase for our patrons, and marvel at the amount and type of information that is available. I am one of "those" librarians that is excited by new technologies and the possiblity they represent, instead of feeling threatened and looking for a new profession.

In my world (a small public library in Northeast Mass) human beings still trump search engines. We help formulate searches, sort through results, recommend widely varied sources AND keep the printers running!

Additionally I would respond to those sounding the death knell for libraries: supplying popular materials in print or other format is a vital service that is valued highly by our funders: the tax-paying public.

Jen Hinderer, lucky enough to have the best job in the world

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