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January 15, 2004
Book Publishing in Every School and Library
The Shifted Librarian is trying to bring more attention to library policy in Illinois, particularly a new plan from the governor to give one book a month free to every child from birth to five years old (Giving a Child a Book Versus Giving a Child an Entire Support Institution). At the same time, however, the governor is cutting funding for existing libraries. I agree with Jenny that the state certainly shouldn't be cutting library funding at the same time it is giving books to children not yet old enough to read. However, I really like the giving books away part.
Why not split the difference?
What if Illinois spent at least part of the $26 million for the book give away program to install book publishing equipment in every library in Illinois? Then, just like the Internet Bookmobile, children would be able to walk into a library and walk out with a book they could keep. Frankly, I think every school and library should have book publishing equipment. Given enough scale it is probably cheaper to print out most public domain books and give them away then deal with the costs of checking them out and restocking. Heck, you could have an option: check the book out and be subject to possible late fees, or pay $1 or so and keep the book. Might work out pretty well.
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