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Libraries: what are they good for? (physical stuff)

The Denver Library is checking out these "power meter" kits. You can buy one for about $30 on or get it from the library for free.

I feel items like this show off one purpose of libraries in a digital age: sharing physical items that a single house needs for a short time. I need a power meter to do tests on one day, not many days. I need a book only as long as I read it. etc.

In other library usage news: the computer lab was full of homeless folks spending most of their time watching youtube and hulu.

Obviously the downtown Denver library is different from some others, but these "new uses" of the space seemed like interesting points on the path of figuring out what libraries will become in a future where books are primarily written, produced, bought, sold, read, and shared via electronic devices.

People Involved: 


Tools, seeds and other open source libraries

in the Bay Area at least one public library offers a seed exchange / "lending" system

the Berkeley libraries offer tools (quite extensive lists)

ps, thanks for mentioning my dissenting, minority report (I think)



Libraries: what are they good for? (physical stuff)

I do believe the local library will become the retirement community for aged printers, color managers, and binders.We will gather and talk about the good old days. We will share our stories of near-missed deadlines, nutty publishers and the smell of fixer in the morning. We will lovingly stroke the laminated cover, feel its embossed title and swap theories of how many hits of Opaque White it took to achieve that "look". We will remember our victories and with a tear in our eye, leave those sacred walls and cases for future generations to ponder the wonders of the mysterious print industry and its rise and fall from greatness.