Author Topic: Can you say "biased sample"?  (Read 2436 times)

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Offline Sal Atticum

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Can you say "biased sample"?
« on: March 25, 2010, 09:33:44 am »
Garry Pearson, Grand Forks, letter: GF should invest in a digital ó not bricks-and-mortar ó library

The majority of this letter is about saving our tax dollars and how libraries in other places are making things available electronically, but has no actual data to support these ideas. 

This was the kicker though:
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Yes, a computer is needed to read books in this format.

I donít know how many people are without a computer, but I have not had a student in my classes at UND without one for at least 10 years.

Thank you, Mr. Pearson, from all the people who don't have a computer and can't thank you themselves.  Thanks for ignoring anyone outside your bubble, anyone who isn't wealthy enough to attend UND, and anyone who chooses or through happenstance doesn't have Internet access 24 hours a day.  In fact--no thanks.  You want to take the most freely available, distributable, and comprehensible format of information distribution known to man--the book--and make it a million times more complicated to access, to understand, to use when it's needed and store when it's not, and all for what?  So you can save a couple bucks on your groceries every year?  You may think paper is ephemeral, but come back to me after your entire library is digital and you're sure it's not going to disappear in the blink of an eye with the next power surge to your hard drive.

There are (gasp) people in this world who don't have these things, and there are people who use the library for something other than using the computer to look up the support for your letter in the vague reference to Wikipedia.

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Offline Plantains

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Re: Can you say "biased sample"?
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2010, 11:00:53 am »
Hahaha... I remember when my mom was going back to school for computer programming and didn't have a computer. She wasn't open about not having it... to get around this, she just worked at the computer lab at school... which required that my sister and I hang out in computer labs at school for like 6 hours a day.

It was funny when college kids would come in and this 9 year old (me) was explaining how to do what they wanted to them.

Not surprisingly... my mom still uses public libraries too?

So wait... biased sample.

Am I doing it right?
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Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: Can you say "biased sample"?
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2010, 11:06:36 am »
Yes.

There was actually an article in the NYT a few weeks ago on the subject of getting rid of books entirely (to switch to Kindles, etc.).  The readership was pretty clear that it's not going to happen, but we'll see how it works out.
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Offline Plantains

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Re: Can you say "biased sample"?
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2010, 11:21:17 am »
It will happen eventually. There isn't much need for paper books really. But its not there yet. The same reason people "need" pilots on their plane. Eventually though.
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Offline pmp6nl

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Re: Can you say "biased sample"?
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2010, 06:56:39 pm »
I love when people "cite" surveys but dont tell us what the survey was.  Libraries are still needed and will be needed for a long time to come.  They are evolving from basically a warehouse of books to a community learning center.

Many things are becoming digital, but we are a long way off of going digital for all books, magazines, media, etc.
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Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: Can you say "biased sample"?
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2010, 01:12:52 pm »
Rrrrrrgh, no!

Another Herald letter

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The only thing better than money saved is money invested; but government, unfortunately, is incapable of either. So, Pearsonís letter makes too much sense ever to be considered by our elected city government. They are already looking to build another white elephant like the Alerus Center.
Money invested in a library is not invested in the right way--is that it?  Can a library in Grand Forks really be compared to the Alerus Center, when the reason for expanding the library is that so many people want to come use it there isn't enough space--something I don't think aligns with the reasons behind the Alerus Center?
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A digital library? Where would they put the plaque to dedicate it to the contributors or those that squeezed the money out of the population to build their monument?

No, the letter makes too much sense. After all, why foster convenience when people can just line up and try find a parking place instead of being able to access the library from anywhere in the city or the world?

A digital library?  Where would they store the backups, and the backups of the backups?  Who is going to maintain the web-accessible portion of the library?  Who is going to train all those people who've never used a on online library before?  How do you suppose we deal with all those darn people who are "too cheap" to buy a computer and Internet access to get to your digital library?  What happens when the digital library model gets too expensive for you--are you just going to stop subscribing to digital content? Just so you know, you don't get to keep all that stuff you once had access to--it's gone when you stop sending the check, no longer how long you had been paying. 

Digital libraries cost money, the same as physical libraries, and for what?  The building can be (and is) used for more than storing books and magazines.  The accessibility of a physical library grants more access to more people who can't get that information (or pleasure) any other way.  Physical books are vastly more useful than electronic sources in many cases (collaborative research, reading for pleasure, reading with children, when the power goes out, when you're out on the boat or in the icehouse, the list goes on)--why do you want to take them (and the building that houses them and so much more) away?
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Offline Meest

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Re: Can you say "biased sample"?
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2010, 03:15:36 pm »
I want to know how they propose to get all the digital rights to all the books and media the library already owns.... They would have to tax them anyway for that master plan... That alone would cost millions. and many authors and publishers have exclusive agreements with commercial companies on their digital rights of the media in question so they wouldn't even be willing to offer it. They have so many flaws in the system it isn't even funny.

How would I get books on CD or rent DVD's??? I couldn't download the files? as that would be copyright infringement right there as then i would have my own personal copy of it.. Its impossible to have a digital library. They are thinking of just books and reading materials. Not other forms of media that is already semi-digital form.

How do you limit access to this media then? since right now its only Grand Forks County people that can get a library card for 50 cents. otherwise its like 10 dollars a year for out of county people?? Where will you go for a library card?? the DMV??

I agree. where are they going to hold the backups? Who's going to pay for the servers and the upkeep? new technology?? Who's got the phat bandwith pipe to throw this up and be able to reliably have it only 99.9% of the time (thats what people would expect if it was online, as thats what most other websites say their uptime is.

EDIT: Oh god that first one was written by a "tax Law" teacher!?!? LOL WTF a lawyer suggesting theft by making things in digital format... and he of all people thinks that
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At those cutting-edge libraries, one accesses the library from anywhere in the world, the book electronically is sent in seconds ó and it is due back, again in digital form, in a few weeks. All of this for no cost, just like our library lends hardcover books.

NO COST!!. Of all people a Tax Law teacher should know that TINSTAAFL is still all well and true in any form of business now days. There is cost. Who's paying for that digital media license. who's paying for the bandwidth? who's paying for the upkeep of the information? who's paying for the offsite backup? Who's paying for software and hardware licensing???

I'm glad i'm not taking a class from him... sounds like he needs to think about his whole idea a weee bit more.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2010, 03:22:53 pm by Meest »

Offline Sal Atticum

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JUST EXTRA POLISH. I DO SOME WORK WITH EXCELL SO I KEEP THE CAPS LOCK ON :-P

Offline pmp6nl

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Re: Can you say "biased sample"?
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2010, 01:29:21 am »
Some people just dont know what they are talking about.  Yes, this magical digital library is the solution... and its magically free.   :bs:

Isnt it funny that all these new libraries are still heavily used... yes they are so obsolete and easily replaced by a digital library... SIGH.



grrrrrrrrrrrrr   :mob:
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