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Thread: Libraries - Ireland's huge educational resource

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    Politics.ie Member rockofcashel's Avatar
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    Default Libraries - Ireland's huge educational resource

    I just decided to start this thread to praise my local library, and wonder how many other posters are members of local authority libraries.

    I was inspired to do so after I just came back from dropping off some books my little ones read, and while there, I found that the library are now also offering DVD's of literary classics. I know some might find this to be the anthesis of what a library should be doing i.e. encouraging reading, but in this case I found a special edition copy of Orwells anti-communist classic "Animal Farm" (as opposed to the less celebrated one which shouldn't be discussed here)

    I remember seeing this in school about 25 years ago now, and it was only after I began to learn more about the history of Communism did it make sense to me. It was a wonderful story and so easily accesible so I brought it home to show to my kids.

    I've also managed to read some absolute beauties over the past 6 months such as Simon Sebag Montefiores seminal work on Stalin, "the Court of the Red Tsar" and an enlightening account of the brutality of the British Government in dealing with the Mau Mau in Kenya in the late 50's and 60's, Caroline Elkins "Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya", and the "Yamoto Dynasty: The Secret History of Japans Imperial Family" (Sterling Seagrave), which threw light on how the Americans manipulated Japan both before and after WW2 as a means of entering the war, and gaining a foothold in South East Asian politics after the war ended.

    Also, apart from all these serious tomes, I have read most of the Simon Scarrow series, fictional accounts of the Roman Invasion of Great Britain, Dan Brown's Lost Symbol, and a host of other fictional page turners...

    All provided free of charge by the library.. who in the past twelve months introduced my kids of painting exhibitions, how to grow gooseberries and blueberries by showing them how to cut the plants, a reading club, helping them onto the "reading tree" (thus encouraging them to be disciplined in reading, and giving them the confidence to speak in front of others by giving books reviews), and other library related activities

    Well done the local library
    1,197 people agree with me.. how many agree with you ?

  2. #2
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    Well said

    Im a member of two - have a foot in 2 Counties so to speak

    they are great resources - and we are getting a new one in our local village too - should open in the summer if there are no more cutbacks.

    I pay a tenner a year for membership here - but its well worth it.

    Have just finished Jeremy Paxmans excellent "The Political Animal" - well worth reading for anybody considering going into Politics..............and am now nearly 3/4 way thru Simon Carswells "Something Rotten" - Irish Banking scandals..........all written pre NAMA and all the same effing excuses used by the Banks to get themselves off the hook.....do we ever learn.

    Local Libararies are great and they are being used by more and more people.

    PS - I saw that special edition "Animal Farm" DVD on the shelves a few weeks ago too

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    Politics.ie Member darkhorse's Avatar
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    how many millions are they costing the taxpayer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by darkhorse View Post
    how many millions are they costing the taxpayer?
    Too many millions thats what. Last time I was in the library I went looking for a book that they didn't have, literally 3 clicks of a mouse on amazon and a few days and I had it. Todays youth don't use libraries and we have a plethora of educational wealth online. Libraries existed for to look up stuff in a time before the internet and are only frequented by elders nowadays or people too cheap to buy the books they are after! Socialised books..... no thanks!
    Last edited by netwhizkid; 25th January 2010 at 07:56 PM. Reason: m is below k

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    Quote Originally Posted by darkhorse View Post
    how many millions are they costing the taxpayer?
    Libraries are a worthwhile investment. Like ROC's children I benefited greatly as a child from my local library. This benefit continued throughout my schooling when it was used as a resource, a study space and an exhibition space for projects from various schools in the area. Now as a postgraduate I still come across things in my local public library which are useful to my studies.

    One should also remember Andrew Carnegie when we talk about libraries. A filthy rich gentleman but one who funded the establishment of over 3,000 libraries across the English speaking world including many in Ireland which can be seen in the inscription over many of their doors. I was reading one of Carnegie's writings on charity today. Though I would not agree with him on everything his position on the obligation of administration of wealth to which the wealthy should be held applies today. He is a good example of someone who put his wealth to good use, rather than just sticking his name on things. ROC's kids still benefit from his foresight, in addition to continuing State investment, which I support.

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    Politics.ie Member KingKane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by netwhizkid View Post
    Too many millions thats what. Last time I was in the library I went looking for a boom that they didn't have, literally 3 clicks of a mouse on amazon and a few days and I had it. Todays youth don't use libraries and we have a plethora of educational wealth online. Libraries existed for to look up stuff in a time before the internet and are only frequented by elders nowadays or people too cheap to buy the books they are after! Socialised books..... no thanks!
    You went looking for a boom? You should ask Brian and Bertie where it went to.
    Dan Sullivan. I was back but we still couldn't all have a vote. http://www.danielsullivan.ie/blog/

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingKane View Post
    You went looking for a boom? You should ask Brian and Bertie where it went to.
    Typo "M" is below "K" incase you haven't noticed you sad little cretin.

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    Politics.ie Member darkhorse's Avatar
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    i would like to see some figures on how many books they lend out and what the total cost of the operation is. my guess is that a far cheaper service could be operated over the internet on a mail order basis.
    i would also agree with the earlier poster who pointed out that libraries are not used by the young anymore. the internet is a far more appealing and widely used source of information to young and old these days.

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    Libraries are great, I've learned to speak two languages thanks to libraries here and abroad.

    It's a pity though that they don't have a more comprehensive online presence, I would love to be able to borrow books in pdf format.

    by the by, you are in error about Animal Farm; his other more celebrated work is far superior, but that's a discussion for another thread.

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    I love libraries and they are one of the things I miss living overseas. If I had one criticism it is that many of them carry a very poor stock of books on science. Well produced, amenable science and popular science texts have great potential for attracting young people to careers in this field.

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