Yet in the midst of this pitches battle is an island of serenity, and oasis of calmness, a Shangri-La of stability: the public library.
Unfazed by the realities, local governments continue to spend on public libraries stuck in the 18th century model of how knowledge is transferred: books are so scarce that they need to be housed in a central location and shared amongst readers.
My small town of Monroe, Connecticut, recently rebuilt the public library at a cost of $6 million dollars, and spends annually about $750 thousand dollars on the operation of our public library; only $73 thousand of which goes towards the purchase of books. For the same money Monroe could have bought its 19000 residents a Kindle DX and 10 books a year.
Amazon, B&N and others have made books cheap, accessible and ubiquitous. It will take Government a century before it catches up with this fact. In the interim, they spend gobs of money and get no discernable outcome.
I guess nostalgia has a price.