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This simply isn't true. The library keeps stats on how many books are being loaned out, and when they drop, they lose an argument for funding the service. Meanwhile, the people who genuinely need the library don't need it to take books out; lending out books is a service that disproportionately helps people with the leisure time to develop a taste for reading books for pleasure.



As the son of a librarian, I can confirm this is true.

One library within my father's system cut all books below a certain circulation.

They did not bother checking whether the books could be considered "important" by some other metric. So much scientific and classical work was gotten rid of.

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As the son of another librarian I can also confirm this is true, and point out that just today I overheard a children's librarian lamenting that her library just discarded all their Lloyd Alexander. "They just didn't circulate," she said with evident sorrow.

So don't just use the library, use the specific bits of it that you want to keep. You are doing nobody any favors by letting it sit idle.

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... you're agreeing with me, right?

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Oops, yes. I must learn to use pronouns more precisely...

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Agreed. I recently went to the Boston Public Library to get a specific book that was supposed to be on the shelf. I couldn't find it so a librarian put in a request to have it found and held for me. She noticed that it had been checked out 6 times in the last year, which she said was a lot, and therefore if it couldn't be found they'd make sure to order another copy. (It was http://beinggeek.com/, and it eventually turned up.)

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Theres a second effect, too. When someone who has any resource in the world available to them goes to use the library, you can be damn sure they'll have standards. If libraries are only for those without other options, those who have seen what can be will not be there to demand improvement.

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I recently went to the Boston Public Library to get a specific book that was supposed to be on the shelf. I couldn't find it so a librarian put in a request to have it found and held for me. She noticed that it had been checked out 6 times in the last year, which she said was a lot, and therefore if it couldn't be found they'd make sure to order another copy. (It was http://beinggeek.com/, and it eventually turned up.)

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It's a sad commentary to think that the best way to improve the system is to pretend to use its services.

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