Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Free Stuff @ Your Library

You might not realize it, but your local library has a lot of free stuff, and you can take it. Oh sure, there are plenty of copies of Harry Potter and Ventriloquism for Dummies, but these days there's more interesting stuff. Libraries aren't just about books anymore!

For example, libraries have CDs. And you know what that means. It means you can copy the contents and add them to your Ipod! Heck, you may even be able to copy the contents right there on the library computer if you can wait for the teenagers and the drooling perverts to finish their computer sessions.

And DVDs! Copy them, too. Forward thinking libraries are installing DVD decryption and copying software on their public machines to make it even easier for you!

And then there are those boring old magazines that refuse to put everything free online for your convenience. Well, you can probably find those magazines in one of the library databases! Email entire issues to yourself, put the content up on your own web page, and let the whole world benefit from your generosity!

Don't know how to make a web page? Learn @ the library!

There's a world of information available @ your library, and it's all free!


Anonymous said...

At academic libraries it's happened quite a few times an enterprising grad student would try to automate the process of downloading articles from databases, even if it meant socking the library with a huge bill.

Of course the "free" relates to the old ideal of making information free to the public, but nowadays people like the RIAA would have you believe anyone and everyone not paying to use or listen to something is a nasty pirate.

Meanwhile I've been cleaning house on near-free books from places like ABE Books or even --- library book sales. The digital boom has yielded a few fringe benefits.

Maybe in my old age I'll support myself by turning my living room into a private library and charging patrons a nickel to check out from my collection.

Sign me the DESL (Disgruntled Ex-Staffer Librarian)

Anonymous said...

The best use of free resources I ever saw was a guy who came in with his laptop and scanner and scanned magazine after magazine.

Anonymous said...

I learned how to create a legitimate DEA a number by using a certain algorithm from the public library as well as how to construct a booby-trapped bed, something I learned from a publication written by the US government—all for free. I’ve also conferred with public library patrons for hours on the latest criminal techniques as well as picked up a trick or two. I love the public library.

soren faust

Alex Grigg said...

Aww, librarians installing DVD decryption software on their computers would be funnier, if it was true. Not that I find humor in the attempt of the RIAA to squeeze every last penny out of their licensed material, but more that it is amusing that the RIAA still believes it can stop free distribution of media files when the internet is practically designed so that users can steal data.

Oh wait, my main point was that libraries have been allowing illegal copying for years and while we don't exactly promote ourselves as distributors of illegal media, what did we think our patrons have been using those copy machines for over the last 20-30 years?

contrarian said...

Digital Rights Management uses technology to prevent this type of copyright infringement. I thought ALA and many librarians were concerned about all the technological protection measures that go beyond protecting copyright holders and violate fair use. They make it sound like copying, printing, etc. for educational or personal reasons is threatened and being taken away. Are they just overreacting about this issue like they have about other issues? The bright side is at least these are real library issues.

Anonymous said...

The more "Free Stuff" stuff you provide the more demand you get and you can really see those gate count numbers ticking up and up. Thank god for the drooling perverts and other library wraiths.
Now if you start serving free coffie and biscotti you might get a few folks back in from reading the shiny new books at the Barnes and Noble and Books-a-Million.

Problem with free stuff from the library is few people value it when it's available but everyone bitches about it when its gone. Ah well but what is the library these days if not the place where everyone's needs and demands are addressed since you have all those spiffy free computers. Indeed, we should be bringing free coffie to right right to the peverts computers along with little moist toweletts while we thank them for coming and ask if they need help with thier taxes or legal advice. We are all things to all people.

WDL said...

I can't believe you forgot loo roll.

The customers can't get enough of it. Our cleaning ladies keeping putting it in the toilets, but they keep taking it.

Admittedly, not as exciting as pirated CD's or bootlegged DVD's, but an astonishing omission nonetheless.


Brent said...

AL, it is iPod, not Ipod. But not knowing how to spell it makes me feel good that you aren't a MAC person. You would be Annoying Librarian if that was the case.

Anonymous said...

Most "free" stuff from the library is paid for by negotiation between the library service and the supplier who presumably negoiate in turn with the originators of the material. Taxes pay for the process so it ain't free but is very useful.

A very good counterbalance to the copyright charges for copies at extortionate rates, charging more than the cost of the original journal for a copy of an article and differentiating between private and commercial use seems exploitive to say the least.

Of course, all this does help Public Libraries with providing a public research facility which might be anathema to some people.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see a legitimate, non-proper name, OED-accepted word that is spelled with a capital in other than the lead position.

iPod, schmIpod!



Brent said...

It just shows how pretentious Apple is that they dare defy OED.

Anonymous said...

After all, in a world of chaos and uncertainty, the last thing we'd want to do is disturb those things we can control, such as proper grammitical form.

soren faust

Anonymous said...

Brent said...

It just shows how pretentious Apple is that they dare defy OED.

Well, Bill Gates & Co. (Micro$oft) has bestowed millions of dollars, computers and Windows software upon our school and public libraries - - -ostensibly to help the youngsters become computer literate. However, the underlying reason is to get those future workers firmly into the Windows camp, and to enforce the prevailing correctness that only Micro$oft / Windows are appropriate for computer useage.

Nice way to perpetuate a dynasty, plus adding millions to the bottom line.

Anonymous said...

To Micro$oft:

Don't blame Bill Gates. He's a genius marketer taking advantage of a good situation AT THE SAME TIME helping others become computer literate. I see nothing wrong with the intersection of profit and philanthropy. I don't see Apple making any real efforts to help "the people." In fact, it seems that Apple is making shoody equipment, such as iTunes/iPod and making a profit from it.

soren faust

Jim Elliott said...

Free? Pooh!

YOU pay for those databases and audio book resources, etc. through tax dollars. Libraries have to SUBSCRIBE to those resources, and that costs money. We recently considered adding a few databases to our users, but with budget cuts, had to postpone adding them.

Jim Elliott
North Florida USA

Jim Elliott said...

If it weren't for Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation, we would have 10 fewer computers for the public than we have now. And these 10 are dedicated to children's use with educational software, games and 'safe' internet browsere.

Three cheers for Bill and Melinda Gates!


Brent said...

OOO, I can sense a pc vs. mac flame war.

mdoneil said...

Whilst I find the actual practice of law repugnant, if I were indeed to practice in the States I would practice IP law and prosecute both civilly and criminally those who illegally appropriate the intelectually property of others. This would of course include anyone who knowingly facilitates this crime.

Odd, people who would not think of stealing Fity Cent's wallet will steal his songs.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Apple started the whole donating computers to improve the bottom line back in the 1980's. Gates has just done it on a larger scale and more successfully.

I take it that all of you use your computers for completely educational, non-frivolous purposes?

Kevin Musgrove said...

We provide almost unlimited supplies of papers for spliff-rolling in library restrooms in bound packets for easy carriage. Or bookstock as we prefer to call it.

Jim Elliott said...

I'm sure that 90% of our patrons computer use is for non-frivilous purposes --- NOT! :-)

Major computer use:

looking up BET videos and hottie models; online gaming; Myspace checking; sneaky porn viewing; checking the hunks on the criminal detention sites; etc.

a few DO come in to:
write papers for school; complete applications on-line; sign up for e-mail to keep in touch with family members far away; research products before buying; etc.

But since someone asked, the reason we went PC is because 99.9% of computer sales in this area is PC. Only one store carries Apple, and because of the price, they don't sell many. I actually lobbied for at least ONE apple or iMac in the computer area, but was over-ruled. Thus the Gates grant.

Jim Elliott
Tallahassee, FL