A Good Read

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    bree.wilkes, The Cleveland Kid, and 207 other people added this photo to their favorites.

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    1. loonylibs 17 months ago | reply

      See what lib trash pigs do

    2. loonylibs 17 months ago | reply

      See what lib trash pigs do your city is next.....

    3. handlebarstache 17 months ago | reply

      Wow, I'm at my library once a week at least. So sad.

    4. zweihand 17 months ago | reply

      Looks like a great spot for a photoshoot. :D

    5. cgrrrl 17 months ago | reply

      Look said it.

    6. joanie8b 17 months ago | reply

      We're Doomed......

    7. fiveknorth 17 months ago | reply

      @elizmcmahon Elizabeth, this is not all part of some big master plot. Your crack about a grand design to keep people uneducated just sounds, dare I say it, ignorant? I'm more familiar with the NYPL topic than I wish. and I'm involved with the libraries where I live. Let me be direct: bricks and mortar are the way of the past. If you ask any current professional librarian they will tell you that Wikipedia gets more hits in a day then all the public library branches in the US COMBINED, not that Wiki is "all that." Ask yourself, what happened to the Encyclopedia Britannica, or Colliers? The Time Magazine year in review, or Newsweek in print? Dead Dead Dead and Dead. Yes, this is a lovely old building, a church of learning, albeit in a dead bankrupt, corrupt city. Before you point fingers at technology, as yourself when the last time was your used a card catalog, a micro reader. or set foot in the stacks, as opposed to open access? Based on your screed, I'm sure you will say every day, but for 99% of the world, that is not the case. Also, the people at these institutions are all union labor, which means they cost a bucket of money, plus benefits, and are nearly impossible to fire. Here in Illinois we face a $100 BILLION shortfall in retirement benefits for educators in the state plan. That's Billion, with a B. Considering Detroit has lost 2/3 of it's populations, the money just isn't there. I understand your attachment to the place, but the books in those pictures are all replaceable, if not already available elsewhere in the system. This is not the end of learning. Looking at this picture reminds me of walking past an old church being torn down. But if the congregation has moved on, so should we.

      www.detroiturbex.com/content/parksandrec/twain/

    8. Pilgrim on this road - Bill Revill 17 months ago | reply

      Looks like a bomb went off.... Great, great shot.

    9. lchary@sbcglobal.net 17 months ago | reply

      fiveknorth- of course you are entitled to your opinion, and there's no question that digital is probably the future. But don't count books and hard copies out yet. And I think it's appalling that you are willing to just essentially blow this off by telling us it is already "dead, dead, dead" because "bricks and mortar are a thing of the past." That may be true going forward, but that's no reason to trash the past. It is heartbreaking to see a picture like this. Libraries are far more than just repositories for hard cover books which I would think you would acknowledge as someone so involved in libraries in NY. I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, and would visit Highland Park quite regularly as a child, where I would visit the old McGregor Library on Woodward Avenue. It was a beautiful old building, and an awesome place, especially to a child. It too is now boarded up and I have no idea what is inside if anything. I think this picture perfectly captures in microcosm the destruction of a once very proud and productive city, a center of US industry and the union movement. It was never without its problems of racism and segregation, but in retrospect, how unsurprising that it has become the very symbol of the collapse of what this country used to be, destroyed by a perfect coalescence of the forces of capital: racism, free trade, the weakening and in many cases destruction of unionism, the ever growing concentration of wealth in an ever smaller percentage of the population, rampant corruption, and the ravages of unemployment, to name just a few. We see in this picture the ravages of a citadel of knowledge, however modest, and in the following pictures, the ravages of the "American dream". And you focus on the fact that librarians are union labor costing a "bucket of money". We're supposed to blame librarians and teachers because they're such "fat cats"?? Seriously? The real question is why isn't the money there? Where did it go and why? The backstory to this picture is just the tail end of the story.

    10. just_jeanette 17 months ago | reply

      Wow looks like America has given up.

    11. PunkRockNerd 17 months ago | reply

      Get Dan Gilbert to by a bookmobile bus. Get some college students to volunteer to drive them plenty wantto do things to 'save' us. This also looks great on their resume . Drive it around to schools in Detroit and Metro-Detroit that haven't got money to invest in their schools i.e. Redford, Taylor, Inkster, Nor-Wayne, Ecorse, and others. If these rich venture capitalist want to save the poor this is a cheaper way than building a jail. And it might earn them some good Karma. When I went to these public school growing up I know plenty of us if given the chance did want to read more. Instead, we were told you don't need to go past 8th grade. All you need to know is how to fill out and application for the factory.

    12. Frank Synopsis 17 months ago | reply

      "Lib trash pigs"? I assume that means pigs who trash libraries.

    13. clara_rogers2000 17 months ago | reply

      I did "field school" back in the early 80's, on the Navajo Reservation. One of the ladies who was very helpful to our group, was asked what could we students do, to repay her and her community for all the hospitality and assistance they gave us, during that 6 weeks, in Az. She said she had hoped to start a lending library for her home town of Chinle, Az. When I got back to school, I went and spoke to several library friends groups in the Cincinnati and Oxford, Oh. area, and expressed the wish that we could send them books from their culls, and book sales, and several years later, we went back to Chinle, and visited with this lady. She told us the boxes of books had started showing up at the Headstart building, and the personnel there didn't know what to do with them, so they stored them in an abandoned school. A library was started after this lady went to the Tribal Council, and obtained permission to use one of the abandoned buildings in town, so a library was started. When we did our field school, we would go to "market: on Saturdays, and see paperback and hard back books torn, no covers, pages missing, in terrible shape, for sale or trade, for other books! Books were such a valued item there, that people would pay money just to be able to have a paperback book, or a kids story book, to share with their children, who lived without electricity, computers, iPods, telephones, etc. Too bad all those books have sat there for so long, when there is such a need, even today, for books on the reservations! If I were nearby, I would "risk" exposure to the asbestos in the building, which I am sure I have been exposed to many times in the past, to gather those books up and get them to people who really would appreciate them, use them, and not just let them be trashed along with the building itself!

    14. roadkill rabbit 17 months ago | reply

      how horrific this is

    15. bergeron.jeffrey 17 months ago | reply

      The public library was an idea of Benjamin Franklin... it's sad that the nation that inspired the creation of books available to all, seems unable to stop the demise of this fine idea.

    16. lenarod8 17 months ago | reply

      this is unbelievable. I'm librarian and this is so sad. Books can be donated to other institutions or to people. Why they don't do that? Is it better to give it than leave them there

    17. arionetic 17 months ago | reply

      I decided, fittingly, to write a novel about @fiveknorth’s virulent comment about libraries and clear up a few of his/her misconceptions.

      First off, I will say that the comment hit home for me because I am library worker, and no one likes to think they will be obsolete before they hit retirement. My economic vulnerability aside, the ignorance of the comment was what truly galled me, and the narrow idea of what a library is and what it does for the public is worrying.

      Libraries do more than hold books and films. Our buildings house computers with free internet access, resume software, Microsoft Office and photo editing software. We are often the only place to register for food stamps, welfare or Obamacare. We also have copy machines and faxing services with cheap rates. Not to mention our free scan to e-mail, USB or print service. Our systems hold digital archives of special collections, university-level scholarly journal compendiums and business directories. We offer free access to subscriptions sites like Ancestry.com and have purchased e-books, e-audio books, e-music, and e-magazines for patrons to check out. Library staff continually weeds and updates the physical and digital collections according to patron interests.

      Now let’s mention programming, meeting rooms, and tutoring spaces. Children’s librarians have story times for babies, toddlers and young children. We organize book sales to raise money to offset operating costs. Teen librarians screen just-released films, travel to high schools for book clubs, and conduct summer reading programs. Adult programs include knitting clubs, book clubs and author talks. Our meeting rooms are free for public use, and tutors use our building as a quiet and safe space in which meet their students.

      Most importantly, libraries level the playing field. It’s very well and good to say that the world is going digital, but the truth is that the world is going digital for those who can afford to keep up and pay for it. Why are computers and free wireless utilized so often at library branches? Because some people in this country cannot afford to buy a computer, or if they have one, they cannot afford to purchase internet for their home.

      On that note, they probably can’t afford to buy books, or rent movies, or take their kids to the zoo. So where do they go? They go to the library, where their children can hop online, check out as many books as they like, watch the movies their friends have seen and play in the children’s area. If they need something to do on a weekday or weekend, the kids and their parents can enjoy free programming. After school, teens have a place to go with their friends. Why are these resources so important? Because the parents can use their limited money for pesky things like bills rather than stretching already limited dollars so their children can keep up with their peers.

      As for the sorry treatment the Mark Twain Branch Detroit Public Library received, we should be disgusted. According to the site, the library initially closed for renovation, but even once it became obvious the branch would not reopen only a limited amount of books were taken out. The books could have been sold to numerous used book sites, donated to a city high school, jail, church, homeless shelter, etc. Leaving all of those resources there is terrible. Even if you believe that libraries are a thing of the past, you cannot complain about government spending and then turn around and ignore an example of government waste and lost opportunity.

    18. rocurti 17 months ago | reply

      arionetic Thank you for your excellent, well-reasoned and very persuasive comment. Thanks, too, to bpdphotography whose telling photograph sparked this useful exchange of views.

    19. kayimar 16 months ago | reply

      This just breaks my heart. Why are all those beautiful things just left there to rot!? The tables... Chairs, bookcases... Not to mention the books themselves! I would pay to have some of that history in my own home.

    20. obaheemaefua 16 months ago | reply

      The Detroit Public Library page for this library shows that it is open. This photo is two (2) years old. If they were still just lying there I would be happy to ship them to West Africa where technology is still trying to catch up and a library is worth more than the gold in their mines.

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