We did it. We weren't the first library in the state -- La Junta and Windsor were ahead of us, and more power to these small town pioneers! But we're the first Colorado library with more than one branch to do it.
What did we do? We put a new system in place to manage a big part of our work. We touched every one of our over 650,000 items to put an RFID (Radio Frequency ID) tag on them.
There's a common misconception about libraries.
In brief, a lot of politicians seem to think that technology competes against
libraries -- and that libraries are losing.
This is something former Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin called the
"Displacive Fallacy." It's the idea that new technologies drive out old.
But the truth is, they often coexist quite comfortably. TV didn't kill radio.
DVDs didn't kill movies. Both radio and movies make far more money than they
Since this column comes out so close to Independence Day, let me recommend a
book. It's called "The Founding Brothers: A Revolutionary Generation," by
Joseph Ellis. It's available from our libraries in several formats: book,
large type, CD, Cassette, and now, even on VHS and DVD.
It's a shame they don't teach history this way. Instead, we get elementary
school fiction, in which the Founding Fathers did boring things, building to
the inevitable climax of our own perfect government.
There seem to be two things that everybody knows about public libraries.
First, we collect fines. The collective guilt of America about overdues is staggering.
People, please! For most things, we charge the same rate we did 20 years ago: a nickel a day. It always caps out way, way less than the cost of the item. We just want you to bring things back so other people can use them. Relax!
The second thing people know is the phrase, "the Dewey Decimal System."