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paper on public libraries


Okay. Stewart, we need to start planning our paper on public libraries. Have you thought of an angle yet? Well, there's so much we could look into. How libraries have changed over the centuries, for instance, or how different countries organize them. What do you think, Trudy? Maybe we should concentrate on this country and try and relate the changes in libraries to external developments. For the fact that far more people can read than a century ago and that the local population may speak lots of different languages. We could include something about changes in the source of funding, too. Yes, but remember, we're only supposed to write a short paper, so it's probably best if we don't go into funding in any detail. Right. Well, shall we just brainstorm a few ideas to get started? Okay. We obviously need to look at the impacts of new technology, particularly the Internet. Now that lots of books have been digitalized, people can access them from their own computers at home. And if everyone did that, libraries would be obsolete. Yes, but the digitalized books that are available online for free are mostly out of copyright, aren't they? And copyright in this country lasts for 70 years after the author dies. So you won't find the latest bestseller or up-to-date information. That's an important point. Anyway, I find it hard to concentrate when I'm reading a long text on a screen. I'd much rather read a physical book. And it takes longer to read on a screen. Oh, I prefer it. I suppose it's just a personal preference. I expect the libraries will go on evolving in the next few years. Some have already become centres where community activities take place, like local clubs meeting there. I think that'll become even more common. I'd like to think so. And that they'll still be serving their traditional function. But I'm not so sure there are financial implications after all. What I'm afraid will happen is that books and magazines will all disappear and they'll just be rows and rows of computers. They won't look anything like the libraries we're used to. Well, we'll see. I've just had an idea. Why don't we make an in-depth study of our local public library as background to our paper? Yes, that'd be interesting and raise all sorts of issues. Let's make a list of possible things we could ask about, then work out some sort of structure. For instance, we could interview some of the staff and find out whether the library has its own budget, or if that's controlled by the local council and what their policies are. I know they don't allow food, but I'd love to find out what types of noise they ban. There always seems to be a lot of talking, but never music. I don't know if that's a policy or if it just happens. I've often wondered. Then there are things like how the library is affected by employment laws. I suppose there are rules about working hours, facilities for staff and so on. Right. Then there are other issues relating to the design of the building and how customers use it. What measures does the library take to ensure their safety? They'd need floor coverings that aren't slippery and emergency exits, for instance. Oh, and another thing. There's the question of the kind of insurance the library needs to have in case anyone gets injured. Yes, that's something else to find out. You know, something I've often wondered? What's that? Well, you know they've got an archive of local newspapers going back years? Well, next to it, they've got the diary of a well-known politician from the late 19th century. I wonder why it's there. Do you know what his connection was with this area? No idea. Let's add it to our list of things to find out. I've just thought, you know, people might ask in the library about local organizations, like sports clubs. Well, I wonder if they keep a database or whether they just look online. Right. I quite fancy finding out what the differences are between a library that's open to the public and one that's part of a museum, for example. They must be very different, then.

Fill in the Blanks Game

Question 1-10

Complete the notes below.

Write ONE WORD AND/OR A NUMBER  for each answer.

paper on public libraries






1. What is one possible angle for their paper on public libraries?
Answer: History

2. Should they go into funding details in their paper?
Answer: No

3. Which technology has had a significant impact on libraries?
Answer: Internet

4. Are digitized books available online mostly out of copyright?
Answer: Yes

5. What is the speaker's preference for reading?
Answer: Physical books

6. What does the speaker expect libraries to do in the next few years?
Answer: Evolve

7. Have libraries become centers for community activities?
Answer: Yes

8. Will libraries of the future resemble current libraries?
Answer: Not specified

9. What is the suggested focus for their paper?
Answer: Local library study

10. Who controls the library budget?
Answer: Not specified

Angle (noun): A specific perspective or approach to a topic.
Example: We need to find an interesting angle for our paper on public libraries to make it stand out.

Centuries (noun): Periods of 100 years.
Example: The study explores the changes in libraries over the centuries, from their inception to the present day.

Organize (verb): To arrange or structure in a systematic manner.
Example: Different countries have different ways of organizing their public libraries based on their cultural and administrative contexts.

Concentrate (verb): To focus one's attention or efforts on a particular task or subject.
Example: I find it difficult to concentrate on reading long texts on a screen without getting distracted.

Funding (noun): Financial support or resources provided for a particular purpose.
Example: The paper could include a brief discussion about the changes in the source of funding for public libraries over time.

Obsolete (adjective): No longer in use or relevant.
Example: If everyone started accessing digitalized books from their own computers, traditional libraries might become obsolete.

Copyright (noun): Legal protection granted to the creator of an original work, giving them exclusive rights to its distribution and reproduction.
Example: The availability of online free books is mostly limited to those that are out of copyright, which means they are no longer under legal restrictions.

Bestseller (noun): A book that sells in large numbers.
Example: The latest bestseller may not be accessible in digitalized form for free as it is still protected by copyright laws.

Personal preference (noun): An individual's choice or liking based on their personal taste or inclination.
Example: Some people prefer reading physical books over reading on a screen due to their personal preference for the tactile experience.

Evolving (adjective): Developing or changing gradually over time.
Example: Public libraries have been evolving to adapt to the changing needs of the community and advancements in technology.

Implications (noun): Consequences or effects that may arise as a result of certain actions or decisions.
Example: There may be financial implications associated with the changing nature of libraries and their services.

In-depth (adjective): Comprehensive and thorough, going into great detail.
Example: Conducting an in-depth study of our local public library will provide us with a comprehensive understanding of its operations and challenges.

Policies (noun): Principles or guidelines that dictate actions or decisions.
Example: We should inquire about the library's policies regarding noise levels and determine if there are specific restrictions or guidelines in place.

Employment laws (noun): Legal regulations governing the relationship between employers and employees.
Example: The study could examine how employment laws affect various aspects of the library, such as working hours and facilities for staff.

Design (noun): The process or art of creating a plan or structure.
Example: The design of the library building should incorporate safety measures, such as non-slip floor coverings and clearly marked emergency exits.

Database (noun): A structured collection of data stored and organized for easy retrieval and analysis.
Example: It would be interesting to investigate whether the library maintains a database of local organizations and clubs for community members to access.

Archive (noun): A collection of historical records or documents.
Example: The library's archive includes a wealth of local newspapers and even the diary of a well-known politician from the late 19th century.

Connection (noun): Association or relationship between people, places, or things.
Example: We should research the connection between the well-known politician and the local area to understand why his diary is housed in the library's archive.

Database (noun): A structured collection of data stored and organized for easy retrieval and analysis.
Example: We could explore the differences between a public library and a library that is part of a museum, examining their functions, collections, and visitor experiences.

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