Lodge Libraries

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by tomasball, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. tomasball

    tomasball Premium Member

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    I used to think that my ideal lodge would have an extensive library of books on Masonry, history, philosophy, etc. Now I'm not sure. Digital media seems close to making such a thing superfluous. Rather than go down to the lodge and sit in the library reading, it seems more likely a young mason would just call up what he wanted on a Kindle, or googlebooks, or the like.

    Thoughts?

    Tom Ball
    San Juan 1173
     
  2. barryguitar

    barryguitar Registered User

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    True, but.......the tastiest morsels of knowledge are lost inside of some rather obscure books. It might be awhile still before all of these books are scanned into a format where they can be accessed freely, and most alchemical books never will be. I am so lucky that I live in downtown Dallas. Its just a hop and skip from the Scottish Rite Temple, the best masonic library in Texas. If it wasn't limited to daytime availability, I would seldom go home.
     
  3. nwendele

    nwendele Registered User

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    Not to thread-jack or anything, but does anyone know what the brazos valley masonic library and museum is? I used to drive by it when at A&M all the time. The website just shows a pic and the hours. It is only open about 3 hours a day 3 times a week.
    http://bvmasoniclibrary.org/
     
  4. tomasball

    tomasball Premium Member

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    That's the home of Sul Ross Lodge no. 1300.
     
  5. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    Personally, I like holding a real book in my hands. Books don't run out of battery life. They can't be deleted, corrupted, etc. If I drop a book, I don't have to stop reading it because it broke. I never have to plug my book in at night. My book couldn't possibly get a virus.

    Don't get me wrong, I think digital devices will be the primary means of transmitting most of this stuff in the future. But books won't ever go away entirely. We still have vinyl records. Cowboys still ride horses. Symphonies still play with instruments that have been changed relatively little in hundreds of years. The advent of digital devices means a greater variety and flavor, not an 'out with the old in with the new.'
     
  6. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Torn ... but never on a Kindle.

    Personally, I can't wait until the day when I can plug my finger into a motherboard and down load anything that crosses my fancy.


    :blink:


    Now there's a thought.


    :sneaky2:
     
  7. chancerobinson

    chancerobinson Registered User

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    I must agree with Brother Benton. I hope that lodges will continue to acquire as extensive a library as is feasible for the lodge.

    I do see a potential opportunity now and in the future for lodges to assemble a reading list of electronic masonic books by category to assist new masons in their studies.
     
  8. nwendele

    nwendele Registered User

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    I was excited and almost purchased an e-reader when they first came out, and may still. I like the feel of a book. I like it dog-eared and "sticky-noted" on my bookshelf. I like to hop up mid discussion, and flip right to a page that completes my thoughts better than my own words can. I like a few old paperbacks tossed in my saddlebags or car, so I always have something to read.

    I thought the e-books would be substantially cheaper, but I don't think they are. Only the classics, but those are the books that fit with my first paragraph better anyway.
     
  9. Jacob Johnson

    Jacob Johnson Registered User

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    I love books. They are kind of a weakness, actually. I love having a book to carry with me pretty much everywhere I go. That said, I kinda like the Nook. I don't have one yet, but I worked at B&N and "had to" play around with one for a while for my job. My main gripe with it is that I can't find half of what I want to read on the darn thing. Classics are free, though, and while I DO prefer to read the dog-eared paperback versions of classics, I can see how I would enjoy being able to download any "classic" I want for free anytime I am near a wifi hotspot. Ya know, for those days when you accidentally finish your book before you can get to a bookstore!

    I just sincerely hope that this wave of e-readers revitalizes the American readership (reader-dom?). It's been pretty dismal of late. IMO, we can hardly claim that we're eradicating illiteracy when the majority of the country can't fathom "reading for fun".
     
  10. Preston DuBose

    Preston DuBose Registered User

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    My wife bought me an e-book reader two or three years ago because our house is bursting with paper books that I can't stand to part with. I love it. I've only read two or three paper books since then. If it broke I'd buy a new one as soon as I could. The truth is that when you're reading even a halfway decent book, it sweeps you away from your surroundings and you hardly notice the medium you're reading on. It's lightweight, fits comfortably in my hand, and carries all the books I want.

    I WILL say that the current generation of e-book readers are great for linear reading like novels, but not so great for skipping around like in textbooks, instruction manuals, etc. It's not that it can't be done, but you can't flip through pages as quickly as you can with paper. You can use digital bookmarks, but it's just a little more cumbersome. That will change over time. We're still only on the 3rd generation of modern e-book readers. By comparison, it wasn't until the 5th generation of the iPod that MP3 players really broke out of their niche audience.
     
  11. trowlison

    trowlison Registered User

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    Bro. Ball.... that is a great question and one I've thought about also. I'm of the opinion (and I hope I'm wrong) that eventually libraries will be a thing of the past. As unbelievable as this sounds, the state of Indiana will no longer teach or require cursive writing. Things like this are the wave of the future. I never thought the USPS would go bankrupt but because of email, not many people want to spend money on a stamp to send a letter. It may not be in our lifetimes, but eventually libraries will be a relic of the past, in my opinion.
     
  12. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    Well, maybe libraries like we think of them now. But I have no doubt we'll always have libraries. The form may simply change. More computers, with access to larger databases, etc, etc.
     
  13. Ashlar

    Ashlar Registered User

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    I have tried to read books on Kindles , iPhones and computer monitors . My friend loaned me his Kindle to read a new novel that was just released , I made it a few pages in and then shut it off , drove to his house and gave it back to him then ran down to the book store and purchased the hard bound copy . It was not the same , reading a BOOK is an experience , not just the words printed but the feel and smell of the paper as you turn the page . The beautiful hardbound copies lining my bookshelves or the smell and feel of the leather from my leather bound editions .

    I hope I never see the day that books are completely replaced by e-readers .
     
  14. Roach

    Roach Registered User

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    As a person looking to become a Mason and who has done 90% of my research on the internet. I can't wait until I can sit in lodge and hold a book in my hand where I can tune all else out and truly take in what I'm reading.
     
  15. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    Our lodge library is in really sad shape. The library shares space with the storage closet. Since some items from the storage closet went missing, they put a lock on the door. Now about 1% of the members have access.
     
  16. Ashlar

    Ashlar Registered User

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    I am in the process of creating a lodge library in one of my lodges . I am starting from scratch but I can not believe the books that brothers are donating . I have more coming in that I could have ever dreamed of , I am donating around 30 from my personal library myself . I can not wait to get it finished .
     
  17. tomasball

    tomasball Premium Member

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    Ah, now...I am considering the same thing, but I don't want it to turn into the situation described by the previous brother. Please tell me how you plan to use your library. When will it be accessible? Will the books be for loan? Is this just going to be something the brothers can browse while they wait for lodge to open, or while they're sipping coffee afterwards?
     
  18. Ashlar

    Ashlar Registered User

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    It will be a library and lounge . We are putting in a large TV with basic cable , DVD player , a couple of desks with reading lamps , big comfortable chairs . The books will be on loan to take home . I am debating on the honor system , but I really want to know where the books are at all times so I can keep track of them . I will also have binders on the shelves where I will place research papers .

    It will be open during lodge meetings and YR meetings and I will drive down and open up the lodge to anyone who wants to use the library as long as they give me plenty of notice that they want access .
     
  19. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    This is worthy work brothers Ashlar and Tomasball. I wish you well.
     
  20. Ashlar

    Ashlar Registered User

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    It will be a labor of love and I hope I can do it justice . It was getting my hands on enough books/literature to fill the shelves that was my worry .
     

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