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Forum Post: More Evidence of Technology Replacing Brick and Mortar

Posted 2 years ago on Dec. 23, 2011, 2:52 p.m. EST by infonomics (393)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Four Detroit Public Libraries closing permanently today by PUBLIC LIBRARIES on DECEMBER 22, 2011

It looks like nothing was able to stop the Detroit Public Library from closing four branch libraries today. The Monteith, Richard, Lincoln, and Mark Twain locations were all shut down today.

It’s uncertain what will happen with the buildings, but for now the plan is to board them up and redistribute the collections to the remaining Detroit Public Library system locations.

The Detroit Library Commission decided to close the branches in a meeting they held last month. The DPL has faced declining tax revenues and had to lay off staff earlier this year and also has a large number of employees entering retirement. The net result is around 200 fewer staff trying to keep the same facilities operating.

The Library Commission decided that closing branches and relocating staff to the remaining locations was the best choice available.

The communities served by the closed branches will definitely be impacted. The libraries being shut down have been around for 50-90 years. The Monteith Branch has been serving the community since 1926. It’s extremely sad to see these historic libraries going away.

Detroit is facing a financial catastrophe right now with many believing the city will go into bankruptcy very soon. The city is trying to deal with a shrinking population and drastically reduced tax revenues. The city will have to prioritize which government services are most important to their citizens as they are forced to deal with their financial reality.

As with the Post Office, where is the surprise? Those who cling to the past will live to regret it.

And more of the same from Harvard:

It looks like Harvard is going to stand out from the rest of the Massachusetts colleges in yet another way. Last month, the Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society announced that The Sloan Foundation and Arcadia Fund would donate $5 million to develop the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).

The DPLA is a national project to provide access to digital content from libraries, museums, and archives in the United States. The project began in 2010, but only recently gained serious momentum with the generous funding contributions.

The DPLA would essentially create a unified repository for all the digital collections of libraries, museums, archives, and anyone else that had digital content of value that they wanted to share with the public. There would be standards for adding data to the repository as well as for accessing data from it. The repository would be secure, redundant, and scalable.

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[-] 0 points by NewEnglandPatriot (916) from Dartmouth, MA 2 years ago

This happened to some of my local libraries. They have since re-opened with the last mayor that was elected. He trimmed costs, consolidated expenses, changed hours, etc and had it become a part of a network of county libraries... The network, has a courier that delivers books between locations, he also got Comcast to give free internet access for tax reduction, etc ...It is unfortunately considered non-essential in comparison to other city services like schools, fire and police. Given the crime rate and poor economy of Detroit, is is a sad reality, but sacrifices have to be made. What should be done is group it in with the education system, as done in my city.