Aug 23 2011 9:45am

Books are People, Too

Paper Toys by Richard M. ScottRecently, we debated whether or not we needed bookstores anymore, but now, the question should be: Do we need books?

Via Slashdot: A library in Surrey, British Columbia has the goal of checking out people. That’s right, people. Want to learn more about a debilitating disease or what it was like to grow up in Russia? Why, go to your local library of course and check out someone that has been there AND done that. The “experts” on these life experiences will be able to be “checked-out” and you can chat with them at the convenient library café.

It’s a neat idea, even if too much time on hard shelves seems bad for the circulation.

Paper toys and image by Richard Scott 33.  Hat tip: unsungpaper blog

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Deborah Lacy
1. DeborahLacy
It does seem like a neat idea, but it won't work to scale. How many hours a day can the experts spend answering questions? These experts also spend a lot of time structuring books so they convey information in the best possible manner. Depending on the expert, you could get lots of talking before you get any information.
Christopher Morgan
Yeah, I was curious as to how they were going to sustain the program. Unless they have a lot of bored retirees or jobless folks, or if Canada's public library system is organized differently, the system seems to be entirely volunteer driven, so what happens when a volunteer says not today?

And what IS the late penalty on a person?
Deborah Lacy
3. DeborahLacy
cmorgan - I think you just hit on an excellent concept for a sci fi novel. What happens to the experts who get checked out, but are never returned...
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