20 December 2009

silver lining?

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 4:39 pm by Andromeda

The last bookstore in Laredo, Texas is about to close.

(Seriously! How can you be a city of almost a quarter of a million people and not have a bookstore?)

Wonder if their libraries are any good. Wonder if they’re about to be. Wonder if and how it changes your lending policies, your services, if there is no bookstore there at all…

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3 Comments

  1. Newt Sherwin said,

    Maybe they all rely on Amazon? I could totally see an argument for Amazon putting local bookstores out of business.

    OTOH, a town that can’t support a local bookstore may not care enough about books to frequent (the book section of) Amazon or bother having a decent library, either. Which, really, is a rather depressing thought. (It was immensely reassuring in MN to note that they have the coolest kids’ bookstore I have ever seen.)

    Newt

    • Andromeda said,

      Yeah, my suspicion is that online is where people get their books. And the low levels of literacy mentioned in the article don’t bode well for libraries, either. It just seems like it’s an interesting opportunity for a library…libraries and bookstores are in competition but I think serve slightly different niches, and the *absence* of bookstores, coupled with an ambitious library, could illustrate where those niches are, and create opportunities for libraries to do things they don’t normally. And I wonder what that would be like.

      http://www.laredolibrary.org/ , but I haven’t had the chance to look at it yet.

      • Andromeda said,

        Oh, that’s fascinating — I looked at their catalog and immediately thought, *that* looks familiar, and then realized I’ve seen the same software at a site I studied for an assignment this term, at the University of Huddersfield library (woo, pre-merger Dynix product FTW!) Except the assignment was on next-gen catalog features, and I was looking at Huddersfield because they’ve implemented a ton of stuff via scripting, mining their own circ data, stuff like that. So it’s interesting to be able to compare them and see what was out-of-the-box vs. locally created at the Huddersfield catalog.


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