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Roger Hicks -- Author of The Rangefinder Book

Roger Hicks is a well known photographic writer, author of The Rangefinder Book, over three dozen other photographic books, and a frequent contributor to Shutterbug and Amateur Photographer. Unusually in today's photographic world, most of his camera reviews are film cameras, especially rangefinders. See www.rogerandfrances.com for further background (Frances is his wife Frances Schultz, acknowledged darkroom addict and fellow Shutterbug contributor) .


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Old 09-24-2018   #41
Roger Hicks
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Of course another advantage of proper public libraries is PLR, Public Lending Right. But distressingly many people are too mean or too narrow-minded to support such an eminently fair and reasonable scheme. Likewise, many such people don't think that education or culture should be supported in the slightest degree out of the public purse.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-24-2018   #42
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Now that I think of it, there's a public book exchange upstairs at a local independent cinema. People are free to read, bring or exchange books as they like. Haven't seen any old phone booths being repurposed in this way in Australia, though.
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Old 10-27-2018   #43
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A belated footnote to this topic:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/23/o...-bol-dead.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/26/b...-todd-bol.html
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Old 10-27-2018   #44
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Here's one functioning as a very small town's public library! The Little Free Library hangs on the front of the Town Hall building in Corunna, Indiana. Corunna is a town of just 250 people in Dekalb County, Indiana. It is in northeast Indiana, about 25 miles north of Fort Wayne.




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Old 10-27-2018   #45
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Dear Oren,

Thanks for the news. R.I.P.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 10-27-2018   #46
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Dear Chris,

Thanks. Interesting how differently the concept has been developed in the United States and around where I live.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 10-27-2018   #47
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Dear David,

No, it's not "the lawyers".

Lawyers need clients. Often arrogant, stupid, greedy clients, it's true. But don't blame the lawyers for the existence of people like that.

With my LL.B. hat on, I also wonder who would sue whom, for what, on what evidence and under what statute or branch of common law.

Cheers,

R.
I agree as to the US. A plaintiff would likely have a time proving causation of a disease ostensibly transmitted by book. Even then, I'm fairly sure that the standard of care for libraries does not run to testing books for disease or sterilizing them before lending. As I used to tell clients who asked if they could be sued, the answer is always "Yes," but the more important question is whether the plaintiff prevails. It would be a hungry lawyer who would take this case on.
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Old 10-27-2018   #48
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France doesn't have a tradition of broadly accessible public libraries like in the english speaking world, although that is changing somewhat. There reasons are complex , but historically libraries in France were for conservation and for research and reserved to a happy few . Also open stacks are relatively new , an anglo saxon import.

Philippe
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Old 10-27-2018   #49
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I agree as to the US. A plaintiff would likely have a time proving causation of a disease ostensibly transmitted by book. Even then, I'm fairly sure that the standard of care for libraries does not run to testing books for disease or sterilizing them before lending. As I used to tell clients who asked if they could be sued, the answer is always "Yes," but the more important question is whether the plaintiff prevails. It would be a hungry lawyer who would take this case on.
Quite!

Cheers,

R.
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Old 10-27-2018   #50
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France doesn't have a tradition of broadly accessible public libraries like in the english speaking world, although that is changing somewhat. There reasons are complex , but historically libraries in France were for conservation and for research and reserved to a happy few . Also open stacks are relatively new , an anglo saxon import.

Philippe
Dear Phillippe,

Really? Every town I know has something resembling an anglosphere public library, as do many villages including my own; though there seems often (always?) to be a subscription fee. This may simply reflect my lack of experience, but I've lived here 16 years and visited quite often before that.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 10-27-2018   #51
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Dear Phillippe,

Really? Every town I know has something resembling an anglosphere public library, as do many villages including my own; though there seems often (always?) to be a subscription fee. This may simply reflect my lack of experience, but I've lived here 16 years and visited quite often before that.

Cheers,
R.
In the US, there are no fees to check out books from your local public library, since they're supported by local property taxes. Some public library systems will let people who live outside the library's taxing area (typically a town, city, or county) to pay a yearly fee for access.
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Old 10-27-2018   #52
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Really? Every town I know has something resembling an anglosphere public library, as do many villages including my own; though there seems often (always?) to be a subscription fee. This may simply reflect my lack of experience, but I've lived here 16 years and visited quite often before that.
Public libraries in the US are just that - public, and there is no subscription fee to borrow books. Perhaps it is different in France.
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Old 10-27-2018   #53
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Dear Phillippe,

Really? Every town I know has something resembling an anglosphere public library, as do many villages including my own; though there seems often (always?) to be a subscription fee. This may simply reflect my lack of experience, but I've lived here 16 years and visited quite often before that.

Cheers,

R.
Dear Roger ,

Yes, really.

Do you read French? You don't seem to know France very well. Please read the following articles carefully. To the extent that French libraries are more welcoming today it is a result of the influence of an anglo-american model which views libraries as public institutions which seek to encourage civic self-learning.

Le modèle de bibliothèque : un concept pertinent ?
https://books.openedition.org/pressesenssib/749?lang=en

I will not dwell in the backwardness that characterized French public libraries until recently - and that is on certain points they still evidence . Of the anglo-saxon model, we usually mention the abundance and usefulness of the collections, the openness to the every kind of pubic, the place of children. Municipal libraires [in France] […] see themselves as institutions with limited access, dedicated to teachers, scholars, , and to select students duly authorized to borrow .. women , poplar classes , children are kept away …

Du modèle anglo-saxon, on retient principalement les collections abondantes et utiles, l’actualité (la presse), l’accueil large à tous, la lecture des enfants
Les bibliothèques municipales, saturées, asphyxiées, par le travail de description des saisies révolutionnaires, se vivent comme des institutions à accès restreint, dévolues aux enseignants, aux érudits et à quelques rares étudiants dûment autorisés à emprunter – les femmes, les classes populaires, les enfants, trois figures de «*mineurs*», en sont tenus éloignés, s’en tiennent éloignés.*…

Also :
Un modèle « anglo-saxon » ?
https://books.openedition.org/pressesenssib/750?lang=en

Cordialement

Philippe
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Old 10-27-2018   #54
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We have lots of those little libraries scattered about my town. Most seem to be on residental lands, but some seem to be in public locations too. I like living in a place where nobody gets too uptight about such things and these things can continue. It is a matter of time, however, before someone will feel the need to bring it all to an end. It will happen. My town is growing (in population and footprint) rather quickly and many of the newcomers have much different attitudes and cultural values than we did when my town was small. Overall, its not a positive change.

In the meantime, I have left a number of photo related books in a couple of the small structures along the 2-mile route my wife and I walk several times a week. I haven't found anything that interests me in them, yet.
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Old 10-27-2018   #55
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McDuffy Park in Albuquerque has a kiosk library. It’s also one of only a few dozen city parks in the US that is accessed only on foot; it’s in a residential neighborhood surrounded by the backyards of houses, with alleyways for egress.
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Old 10-28-2018   #56
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Dear Roger ,

Yes, really.

Do you read French? You don't seem to know France very well. Please read the following articles carefully. To the extent that French libraries are more welcoming today it is a result of the influence of an anglo-american model which views libraries as public institutions which seek to encourage civic self-learning.

Le modèle de bibliothèque : un concept pertinent ?
https://books.openedition.org/pressesenssib/749?lang=en

I will not dwell in the backwardness that characterized French public libraries until recently - and that is on certain points they still evidence . Of the anglo-saxon model, we usually mention the abundance and usefulness of the collections, the openness to the every kind of pubic, the place of children. Municipal libraires [in France] […] see themselves as institutions with limited access, dedicated to teachers, scholars, , and to select students duly authorized to borrow .. women , poplar classes , children are kept away …

Du modèle anglo-saxon, on retient principalement les collections abondantes et utiles, l’actualité (la presse), l’accueil large à tous, la lecture des enfants
Les bibliothèques municipales, saturées, asphyxiées, par le travail de description des saisies révolutionnaires, se vivent comme des institutions à accès restreint, dévolues aux enseignants, aux érudits et à quelques rares étudiants dûment autorisés à emprunter – les femmes, les classes populaires, les enfants, trois figures de «*mineurs*», en sont tenus éloignés, s’en tiennent éloignés.*…

Also :
Un modèle « anglo-saxon » ?
https://books.openedition.org/pressesenssib/750?lang=en

Cordialement

Philippe
Dear Phillippe,

Well, yes, I do read French, and I take issue with your (and their) interpretation of "recently". The articles to which you link are both a decade old, and they both admit that things are changing; and so, must already have changed somewhat by when they were written.

I freely accept that the "tradition" to which you and they refer has only lately been implanted in France: a fact of which I was not previously aware. On the other hand, I can't help asking: do you still live in France? If not, you may not have noticed that the Anglo-Saxon style has been here for some time. Perhaps it is you who no longer know France very well.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 10-28-2018   #57
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In the US, there are no fees to check out books from your local public library, since they're supported by local property taxes. Some public library systems will let people who live outside the library's taxing area (typically a town, city, or county) to pay a yearly fee for access.
Dear Chris,

Traditionally it was similar in the UK, though there, libraries are closing or shrinking apace in the name of "austerity" as local authorities "save" money. I (or more accurately my parents) have not paid for access to a library since Boots' Lending Library closed in the UK in the 1950s, squeezed out by free public libraries.

Then again, the entire economic model has changed. Today, even a new book costs about the same as a cinema ticket; used books are absurdly cheap; and indeed books are effectively free in the model I describe.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 10-28-2018   #58
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We have lots of those little libraries scattered about my town. Most seem to be on residental lands, but some seem to be in public locations too. I like living in a place where nobody gets too uptight about such things and these things can continue. It is a matter of time, however, before someone will feel the need to bring it all to an end. It will happen. My town is growing (in population and footprint) rather quickly and many of the newcomers have much different attitudes and cultural values than we did when my town was small. Overall, its not a positive change.

In the meantime, I have left a number of photo related books in a couple of the small structures along the 2-mile route my wife and I walk several times a week. I haven't found anything that interests me in them, yet.
Really? Why? Not being argumentative: just intrigued.

A possible parallel might apply in Hilton, New York, where my wife Frances was brought up. In the 1950s, icomers objected to people (long-time inhabitants) riding horses on the road. Their complaint, I think, was this was "unhygienic". Some people might argue that mental hygiene is adversely affected by books of which they disapprove...

Cheers,

R.
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Old 10-28-2018   #59
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.....Traditionally it was similar in the UK, though there, libraries are closing or shrinking apace in the name of "austerity" as local authorities "save" money........
I was pleased when the residents of my small town in Northern Michigan voted overwhelmingly in favor of a millage to greatly expand our library. Work’s proceeding nicely and I look forward to using it.

Jim B.
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Old 10-28-2018   #60
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I freely accept that the "tradition" to which you and they refer has only lately been implanted in France: a fact of which I was not previously aware. On the other hand, I can't help asking: do you still live in France? If not, you may not have noticed that the Anglo-Saxon style has been here for some time. Perhaps it is you who no longer know France very well.

Cheers,

R.
Dear Roger ,

I live part of the year in France and will be moving back semi-permanently in January (and yes, I have an active library card in my city)

I've always admired American public institutions (National Public Radio, public libraries, public theatre etc) if only because they operate under such adverse conditions .

Cordialement

Philippe
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Old 10-28-2018   #61
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NPR piece on and about the Free Libraries we now see

"Upon Founder’s Death, Reflecting On What Little Free Libraries Teach Us About Humanity"

http://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2018...ZHpCpjpz497kBU
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Old 10-28-2018   #62
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Dear Roger ,

I live part of the year in France and will be moving back semi-permanently in January (and yes, I have an active library card in my city)

I've always admired American public institutions (National Public Radio, public libraries, public theatre etc) if only because they operate under such adverse conditions .

Cordialement

Philippe
Dear Philiippe,

Indisputably!

Is there a subscription charge? If so, what is it? And which city?

Amitiés,

Roger
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Old 10-28-2018   #63
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NPR piece on and about the Free Libraries we now see

"Upon Founder’s Death, Reflecting On What Little Free Libraries Teach Us About Humanity"

http://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2018...ZHpCpjpz497kBU
Good story: thanks.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 10-28-2018   #64
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Dear Philiippe,

Indisputably!

Is there a subscription charge? If so, what is it? And which city?

Amitiés,

Roger
Dear Roger ,

The city is Nice and the bibliothèque (Nucéra) is located near the old city (vieux Nice) . There is no registration charge for residents.

Cordialement

Philippe
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Old 10-28-2018   #65
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Here's one (from the Little Free Library site, which I believe is a not-for-profit operation):

Charter #79855
VIVAL ST JEAN DE SAUVES
PLACE DE LA MAIRIE
ST JEAN DE SAUVES , 86330
Lat: 46.841657
Long: 0.091095
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Old 10-28-2018   #66
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Incidentally, how many books on photography, or featuring photography, has anyone found so for? For me, just one book of photographs and a handful of photographically illustrated books: mostly cookbooks and the occasional biography.

Cheers,

R.
I live in an apartment. Residents frequently leave books for the taking by the garbage/recycle bins. Not quite a "little library" but still some interesting finds.
My most recent score was a promotional book commissioned by Mavi Jeans called "Denim by Magnum Photographers."

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Old 10-28-2018   #67
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Back on topic, here's a photo, on film, of a "little library" in Burnaby BC Canada.

Fujifilm Superia 200
Pentax ESII
SMC Takumar 50mm f1.4

Rowan Avenue Little Library. September 2018 by Maigo, on Flickr

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Old 10-28-2018   #68
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I see some of these around (Germany), pretty much on public land/in public buildings only. The funniest one has popped up on the university campus, with three actual libraries within 200m. But of course it serves a somewhat different purpose.

My problem is that most of the books in them are crap. Not surprisingly, the good ones get taken quickly and the bad ones remain forever - no-one dares throwing them out, they might turn out to be someone's treasure after all.
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Old 10-30-2018   #69
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Venice Beach Little Free Library on Fuji C200
(there are actually about a dozen of them within the town)

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Old 10-30-2018   #70
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"............most civilized people (Americans cheerfully included) prefer civilization to barbarism."

Has it been awhile since you visited the states Roger? Most of this country strikes me as decidedly uncivilized, and we have a true barbarian as a president, which is a slur to barbarians everywhere, but it's the best thing I can say about him in a family environment.

As far as I know, all public libraries are free in this country, and you can ck out magazines, books, DVD's, CD's, audio books, etc. One can even ck out musical instruments and art prints to hang on your wall in the library where I live, which is pretty cool. Last week they were showing a good film for free, and they have been featuring free live music in the main library this whole month around lunch time. Computers are free to use as well.

The only people I know of that complain about taxes are the wealthy, which is ironic, as they have crooked accountants to help them dodge paying them. Myself, I prefer the little libraries in people's yards because they never close, and I am not a fan of bureaucracies. The pure randomness of what you will find is neat also. They are true free spirit enterprises. Don't like the book you got? Throw it away or use it for kindling. I generally use the crappy books for weights to place on my wavy watercolours as they dry.
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