Unfortunately I have nothing to entertain you with today. I have a couple of hot topics in mind, but not enough time to write them up, so they'll have to wait until next week, but they'll be worth the wait. Trust me. Have I ever let you down before? Don't answer that. The important question for today is, have you ever let me down?
I was reading back through the lifelong learning comments and had a question for all you librarians and library users out there. In public libraries, is ILL typically free? I don't mean borrowing books from libraries within a particular system, since some systems are better than others. If you're in Ohio you'll have better luck than you might in other places. I mean borrowing books that might not even be in your state, especially scholarly books that might not be in many public libraries. Is that normal and free now (at least to the patrons) the way it usually is in academic libraries these days? Or do patrons usually have to pay special fees for harder to get items?
I'm trying to clarify my thinking both on lifelong learning and access to certain types of information for library patrons, and this would help. The comments on distance learners depending more heavily on public libraries didn't surprise me, but I hadn't thought much about it. If the books necessary to support all sorts of scholars, from the distance learner to the independent scholar, really are available for free through public libraries if you can wait for ILL, then I might have to revise some of my opinions.
Thanks in advance for any answers I get, and have a great weekend.