Arch Reactor Library
From St. Louis Hackerspace Wiki
The Arch Reactor Library is a project being developed for Arch Reactor.
It was proposed by Jason (MrHacks) at the February 2, 2010 meeting. (If anyone else would like to take some credit, feel free to list yourself, just be honest about it.)
In the meantime, if you have any books you wish to donate or suggest that be part of the library, feel free to list them in the Arch Reactor Library/Wishlist page.
Why a library?
As much as many people in the group have fallen in love with electronic copies of resources, the best way to share information generally still is sharing books. There's no DRM, no batteries to charge, and best of all you can share and trade books with other people.
Why are some of the books old?
As a computer science major, former college library clerk, and frequent collector of books, I've noticed that alot of books from about 30 years ago still have as about as much information that is just as relevant now as it was then. Especially books on the subject of Electrical Engineering. The same information that was on one of my college text books was just as freely available at the local library or, if you are lucky, the used books section at a local thrift store.--MrHacks 20:04, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
How the Library System should work
Unlike the regular public library, our library is more or less made of our own contributions. There are some things that we would like to share but not leave in the library for fear that they may be lost, damaged, or stolen.
A good idea it to create an EXCHANGE system for the books that people are a little bit more protective of. If you have digital copies of stuff and would like to share it but it is copyrighted material, burn it to a CD so that anyone can look at it just as they would a book. All other freely distributed stuff can be shared just as you would any other file. DRM Sucks.
The majority of the library should be physical stuff. It saves us the hassle of all of that DRM nonsense with things like the Kindle AND you can actual SHARE items.
Items would be cataloged into a database. An Amazon search should help find some ISBN numbers on some older books.
Where to find stuff to add to the library
While major retalier like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Borders seem to have the lions share of new books, there is nothing wrong with adding some old books.
- Retail/Thrift Shops/Flea markets. - Most of the stuff that is sent here are religious books or romance novels or something in between. But occationally you find a few diamonds in the rocks.
- Used Book Stores. - Speciality shops are good.
- Book Fairs - JACKPOT! All sorts of gently used stuff.
- Books-A-Million - Originally an Chirstian book retailer, BAM has allowed for expansion of their market into other generes. One of the great things about BAM is that there is a section full of Bargain computer books. You won't find this at Barnes and Noble or at Borders! In fact, the first place I go to when I am at the St. Louis Mills in Hazelwood is the section with the discount computer books at BAM.
- Micro Center - If you haven't heard of Micro Center, think of it as what Tiger Direct and Think Geek would send to Earth if they were on Krypton and their world was about to explode. Micro Center is new to the St. Louis area. And while there is no more CompUSA, Computer City, Circuit City, A-to-Z Used Computers, etc. to browse computer stuff IRL, and Best Buy sucks, Micro Center is awesome. The St. Louis Store is at the Brentwood Prominade. Since Micro Center is geek-centric they deal not only in computer equipment but computer books, especially books that you won't find in any of the places listed above.
- Donation - You can also bring in some books that you no longer used. Previous editions are welcome.
What is accepted
- New Books
- Old Books Gently used. - Heavily damaged books will NOT be accepted, unless it's rare and that's the only way we can get it.
- How-to/DIY Books
- Movies, Music, Video Games - Original copies. We don't want to get into distributing bootlegs of anything.
- Classic Literature - Not your entire collection of Star Wars novels, but if you have a copy of Dune or 1984 or anything by William Gibson, Stephen King, or Issac Asmov for example, then definitely bring that it. Other generes are accepted too.
- Comic Books, Manga, Anime, Graphic Novels. - It is probably not a good idea to include your Spider-man #1 signed by Stan Lee. But anything that you think is cool go ahead.
- Magazines - Make:, 2600, Linux Journal, Mac Life, Nuts and Volts, Popular Science, etc.
- Math and Science Books. - Very useful. Especially anything that deals with Physics, Chemistry, Telephony. Automata, Electronics, and Amature Radio.
What is not accepted
- Very new books you don't want to part with.
- Damaged Books. Nothing says "I hate you Arch Reactor" like a book that is damaged, smelly, soiled, wet, or smells like a pack of Marlbourghs. Gently used is accepted. But torn up is not!
- Offensive and Derogatory Texts. Arch Reactor is not for pushing any personal agendas nor is it here to ostracize people.
- Porn. - That is what the Internet is for.
Mainly, keep things interesting and of value. If there is anything you think is interesting, but may fall in a grey area, just ask around or bring it up in a meeting.
The Arch Reactor Library (refered to henceforth in this document as The Library) and Arch Reactor (Arch Reactor) are not responsible for the content that is available or unavailable through the Library Services. Basically, try to uphold copyright laws whenever possible and don't complant to the group that your son got a hold of a stack of Witchblade comics.
Remember, the library exists to SHARE content, not pirate it. If by chance you have some content that was posted in the dark corner of the internet, I can be added. But to use the library as a distributor of that content (as in you take it home and make 50 copies of it to sell to someone else), then there is a problem. It also makes having a free information system so much more difficult to exist.
Storage of Materials
The library should not occupy a large area. Espeically with the limited space the Space has to offer and all the other projects that are going on in it. If anything, it would be ideal if the books were stored in shelving that is set against the wall near the front entrance. (This may chage if the Adminstrators want to put it somehwere else.) I'm not expecting the library to take over the space or cover the room wall to wall with books. Just a small area.
The purpose of the library is not to have all shared matterials stored in one person's home where other members can't borrow or just look at it. Rather it should be stored at the Space.
The Library project will not become activated until a small area is designated for establishing the library in the Space. (this line will be removed once the Space is cleaned up and has a couple of other projects that other members want to get done first as previously mentioned at the beginning of this page.)
If a member contributes content to the library, and wishes to reposess the items that they have contributed either because they wish to leave the group or because they no longer wish to share the item, they may reclaim their property if they wish to do so.
The database will indicate what materials that belong to them, and the group will return any loaned items that the contributing owner wishes to reclaim.
Digitalization of Books
Digitizing books is an expensive and laborious task that is probably better off left for the professionals. NOt to metion all of the issues with copyright.
This library is not in the business of digitizing books, especially since the task would cost the group quite a bit of money to do it.
However, if you feel the need to do this task on your own volition, go ahead and do it. Just try not to break any laws in the process.
Database details can be found on the Arch Reactor Library/Database page.
Questions, Comments, Concerns?
If you have any, feel free to add your feedback on this page's talk page. Other wise, contact me at the forum.