Cuyahoga County Public Library Board wants to spend $12.6 million of your money to build an obsolescent building.

Oops! Cuyahoga County Public Library Board doesn't know what a 21st Century Library is and they are willing to spend $12.6 million of your money to prove it.

While citing the need for a true 21st century library to replace the existing Telling Mansion, the Cuyahoga County Public Library Board and the County Executive’s Office, both have a distorted and uninformed view of contemporary technology specifications.

They have, on more than several occasions, bandied about the idea that providing 60 desktop computers is a good idea and will bring the new library into the 21st century.

They also report that this would be impossible to do at the Telling Mansion branch.

Well yes, but why would anyone want to?

If you know anything about today’s technology, you know that desktops, and even laptops, are becoming more or less obsolete. These technologies are rapidly being replaced by smart phones and smart pads/tablets. The keyboard and mouse are losing ground to touch, voice, and gesture.

So why is the CCPLB spending our money on obsolete technology? This certainly is not helping us to move toward the 21st century library they are so anxious to advocate for. 

We should invest in technologies that are truly emerging which, by the way, can be comfortably accommodated in the existing Telling library. 

Let’s keep Telling as our library and provide modern technologies there.

(This blog post was written by Mace Mentch, PhD)

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Garry Kanter January 09, 2013 at 01:32 PM
Nothing about this proposal makes a lick of sense. "Let me count the ways..."
Carla January 09, 2013 at 04:46 PM
Technology is indeed changing, but people still turn to the public library for traditional desktop computer access. One only has to visit an area library after school or (especially in our area) on a Sunday to experience a wait for computer use. In its '2012 Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study,' the ALA reported that public libraries saw a 60% increase in computer use this past year. http://www.ala.org/news/pr?id=10795 Additional computers (whether at a new building or in the current facility) would also mean being able to hold computer classes to help people learn job skills.
Mace Mentch January 10, 2013 at 06:30 PM
Its easy to cite statistics when there is only one choice. Smart phones and smart pads/tablets are currently outselling desktops and laptops combined two to one. Let's give patrons and especially the students a choice. I'm not advocating for total elimination of desktops (although laptops would be preferable) but if we truly want to serve the needs of the people, we should include modern technologies to the mix. I'm not seeing that mentioned anywhere.
John H. January 11, 2013 at 06:01 PM
Desktops are easier to upgrade, harder to steal, and easier to monitor by library personal than Laptops or tablets. They are the obvious choice for public access computers for any library. This doesn't mean that can't also provide free Wi-fi for other devices, but the library should not provide tablets and smart phones.
Garry Kanter January 11, 2013 at 07:07 PM
Why abandon such a beloved and historic place, just because desktops are harder to steal? None of the reason for moving make a lick of sense.
John H. January 11, 2013 at 10:40 PM
I wasn't defending the move, just that tablets and laptops may not be practical for a public library. Certainly if CCPL decides to go with desktop computers they can do so in their current abode. Or even if they move to tablets and laptops they can do that in either place. The choice between buildings and locations doesn't change the technology choice.


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