Somebody asked me about my interest in food, and I got to thinking about all the foodie TV shows I love to watch. My family watches all of our TV online, and I’ve pretty much had to give up on Top Chef, because it’s been placed rather securely behind a pay-wall. Fox has put Master Chef behind a pay-wall too, but not a permanent one. You just have to wait an extra week to watch online. I’m OK with that. And Fox doesn’t go out of its way as diligently as Bravo does to remove copyright infringing material from YouTube. You don’t have to look as hard to find Fox shows as you do for Bravo shows. Not that I would ever go looking for anything like that, of course!
But I began to wonder – libraries maintain subscriptions to magazines, newspapers, and scientific journals. They subscribe to research databases and websites, offering free access to patrons. Are there libraries that subscribe to pay TV services and offer free access to patrons, the way they would subscribe to Ancestry.com?
Television access wasn’t such a big deal when you made one payment to one company. You made a choice. Either you watched or you didn’t, and if you chose to watch, you had access to everything that was available in your area. But now, with television becoming available online from many different providers each requiring a separate fee, the library seems like the best way to obtain access to the widest variety of pay TV subscriptions, just as libraries provide access to the widest variety of journal subscriptions.
I’m not aware of any libraries offering access to television, beyond circulation of DVDs. But that could be it, I’m just not aware. I think it would be fun, though, visiting a community TV room to watch Top Chef with bunch of fellow foodies.
Has anyone else heard of subscription TV at the library? And would you use such a service?
I packed the kid up to tour the grandparents this morning. I hope to spend this next week that I have the house to myself making up for lost time here, at least until my husband gets back from delivering said child. I want to get those projects I mentioned posted.
Another reason that posting here has been so lax lately is that I get SO ANGRY every time I see the whole “what should we do about libraries” issue come up in the media. Those sources that aren’t produced by people in the library field obviously have no clue about what libraries and librarians do, yet those sources come across as experts to the general public, just by virtue of having claimed a corner for their soap box.
I can’t remember what it was or where I read it about it, because it made me so angry I didn’t bother noting it down. But I read that some municipality was doing away with some other service that EVERYONE knows NOBODY uses anymore (you know, except people who can’t afford otherwise) and I thought, “That’s one more service that will move into the libraries.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad libraries can provide access to these services. But I wholeheartedly WISH that libraries could only be warehouses for printed books, like so many people with the “solution” to the library “problem” still seem to believe libraries are. There simply is no other format as efficient for archiving information, in terms of hundreds of years, as paper and ink. That fact alone makes libraries worth funding. But really, that’s the just about the last thing libraries do anymore. There really is no library “problem” of obsolescence, and I can’t help wondering how much this manufactured debate is framed and controlled by the publishing industry.
Of course, every librarian knows that when you’re doing research you need to evaluate sources. But I think we’re just as likely as the next person to forget about sources when charging into full-on defense of libraries in response to articles online. Maybe it would be a good idea to put some of our research skills into figuring out where this “debate” is coming from, who’s behind it, and where the money is. Even the politicians trimming local budgets are on some lobbyist’s payroll.
Next up: privatization. (shudder)
Now that the semester’s over, I hope my classmates will continue to follow my blog. I plan to keep adding interesting information, here, relevant to the library information profession.
Copied and pasted directly from the link:
Museums and Cultural Property Forum
When: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 | 01:30 PM-03:00 PM
Where: University Library – Lilly Auditorium
This forum will explore current issues in the museum field related to the ownership and display of antiquities and other cultural property. IUPUI Museum Studies graduate students will pose questions to Dr. James Cuno, President and Eloise W. Martin Director of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Dr. Maxwell Anderson, The Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions and to join the discussion.
Registering for Events
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Protests across the UK expected for Save Our Libraries Day
Protests are in response to plans to close 400 libraries.
In other news…I’m enjoying reading and blogging about libraries so much I’m gonna fail out of library school.
Julian Assange Interviewed by the Brazilian People.
Awesome reprint of Brazilian interview with Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks. This is his most recent interview. He gave this interview to an independent journalist, who culled the questions from submissions by the readers of her blog. In it, he discusses the relationship between information control and power.
It is the gap in knowledge which delineates who is inside the most powerful parts of the state and who is inside the powerful parts of a corporation. The free-flow of knowledge from powerful groups to less powerful groups or individuals is also a flow of power and hence an equalizing and democratizing force in society.
So, a question to my classmates: if you care to read the interview, I’m interested to know. In light of a librarian’s role as gatekeeper of information, what do you think?