McClatchy Library getting more space! (By getting rid of books)

Yeah, it doesn’t look like this anymore.

The Sacramento Public Library branches are all closed today for staff furloughs, which is tough when the hours are already pretty terrible. Trying to find a branch open near you after business hours is like trying to find swim trunks once Summer has already started (amirite?). Wednesday night, though, the family and I visited McClatchy Library, the only central city branch open past business hours on that day.

At the moment the branch looks less like a library and more like the house of a book-loving couple (with a really pretty house). The pleasantly (IMHO) cramped quarters are less cramped these days, because almost all the books are stored on wall shelves with only 2 freestanding shelves. We saw an excited young patron park her bike out back, stroll through the branch for about 10 seconds before storming out, muttering something like “Not even worth it!”.

As it turns out, the branch did in fact jettison about 3,000 items from its collection in order to build a teen space. I don’t know why anyone would propose removing books from the library for any reason other than not having enough space. Before you make fun of me, think about how you are going to bequeath that DRM’d Kindle e-book version of your favorite novel to your grandson one day. (“As opposed to borrowing it for 3 weeks from the library?” Yeah but you get my point. Paper books are awesome.)

The Friends of the McClatchy library questioned this move (PDF newsletter) but were not able to stop the library from going forward with the changes. Apparently teen spaces are part of the master plan for all the libraries. I suppose getting young people interested in reading and learning in a public space like a library is great but not when you do it by getting rid of all the books. They can play video games and look at posters everywhere else.

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Author: CoolDMZ

"X-ray vision to see in between / Where's my kimono and my time machine?"

4 thoughts on “McClatchy Library getting more space! (By getting rid of books)”

  1. I just wanted to say I enjoyed what you wrote and agree. It is sad with the reduction in library resources. I do think part of it is technology, referring to electronic books. I do not own one of those devices but I am considering get one soon, But sadly, sometime soon children will miss out on going to a library, maybe for a school project or just to get the enjoyment of a “Curious George” book. A library is almost as extinct as a drive inn theater! Boy I just revealed my age, but I am proud and have appreciation to have had those benefits around as a kid.

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  2. Hey Grandpa, get with the now; ePUB is where it’s at. You forgot to add that McClatchy will be replacing the freestanding bookshelves with era-appropriate, vintage server racks to fit the decor of the pre-war home.

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  3. Who needs a library when you have the Internet. I have zero need for a library the Internet has way more to offer than 19th century library model

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  4. It’s not even really about paper books vs. e-publishing. It’s not like they are digitizing the collection; they’re getting rid of books to make a “hangout space” for teens.

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