Libraries vs. B & N

Beyond Saving
Silver Member
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 4517
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is offlineOffline
Libraries vs. B & N

 The libraries here in Ohio are all in a twist because our mean evil governor is cutting their budget. Out of curiosity, I did a little research on my local library. In my county the libraries operate on a $1.25 million dollar budget per branch (only one of which is actually nice the others are holes in the wall). Apparently, that is not enough to stay open seven days a week. The end of the world is coming and they need an additional $3 million or else, which will bring the operating budget up to $2 million per branch. Sounded like a lot of money to me. For $2 million/year I could make a pretty sweet library.

 

So I did a little research. How much does it cost Barnes & Noble to run a store? Well they reported a total operating budget of $755.43 million to support 1,354 stores, 1,350 of which are nicer than our best library. $755,430,000/1,354 = a little less than $558,000 per store, significantly less than the $1.25 million it costs for one library branch AFTER the devastating cuts.

 

Of course, that doesn't include their advertising money, so lets be generous and include that. Including advertising B & N spends $2,115,430,000/1,354 = roughly $1.56 million per store. That is including advertising, salaries, the website, EVERYTHING B&N spent money for operating in 2010. 

 

http://www.dailyfinance.com/financials/barnes-and-noble-inc/bks/nys/income-statement

 

And my local libraries claim they need $2 million per year per branch? Really? They don't even need to advertise or worry about competing with Amazon. For that kind of money, I should at least get free coffee and donuts when I go in and perhaps a free massage. And the sad part is that my county has one of the smaller operating budgets in the state. I'd hate to see how much they are paying for the public libraries in Columbus or Cincinnati.

 

My solution? If you use the library, pay a use fee. Make the library keep expenses low so that the fee is acceptable to the people who use it. Why force people who choose not to use its services to pay for it? Especially when it is obvious that someone within the system is wasting money, probably to line their own pockets. If you don't want to do that, just pay me $1.75 million per year and I will make a better library and still have a cool million to line my pockets. 

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
Libraries are also expected

Libraries are also expected to keep and maintain everything that is in their collection outside of the occasional book sale and items where they only keep the latest edition.

Amazon and B&N, et al. can simply throw things away as new items come in.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


Gawdzilla
atheist
Posts: 69
Joined: 2011-01-01
User is offlineOffline
jcgadfly wrote:Libraries are

jcgadfly wrote:

Libraries are also expected to keep and maintain everything that is in their collection outside of the occasional book sale and items where they only keep the latest edition.

Amazon and B&N, et al. can simply throw things away as new items come in.

instead of donating them to schools and libraries.

Libraries also have meeting rooms, etc. And they don't get a discount on their books like B&N does.

 

OP, have you seen a breakdown of the libraries operating expenses? If so, which line items do you have problem with?


Beyond Saving
Silver Member
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 4517
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is offlineOffline
Gawdzilla wrote:jcgadfly

Gawdzilla wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Libraries are also expected to keep and maintain everything that is in their collection outside of the occasional book sale and items where they only keep the latest edition.

Amazon and B&N, et al. can simply throw things away as new items come in.

instead of donating them to schools and libraries.

Libraries also have meeting rooms, etc. And they don't get a discount on their books like B&N does.

 

OP, have you seen a breakdown of the libraries operating expenses? If so, which line items do you have problem with?

 

I have tried to find a breakdown. I can't find one online. Perhaps if I go in person and ask for one, I might do that today because I am extremely curious as to where all that money is going. 

 

A meeting room costs virtually nothing to maintain and most B & N stores have comparable rooms such as offices, break rooms etc. Most B & N stores I have been to are substantially larger than any of the libraries here, so they would have higher energy costs.  B & N also pays to store thousands of books at any given location. They have many copies of every book on the shelf and pays people to do nothing other than replace them. A library generally has two to three copies of any given book (and sometimes only one). When B & N sell a book it has to be replaced. When a library rents a book they usually get it back. Plus, many library books are donated.

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
Beyond Saving

Beyond Saving wrote:

Gawdzilla wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Libraries are also expected to keep and maintain everything that is in their collection outside of the occasional book sale and items where they only keep the latest edition.

Amazon and B&N, et al. can simply throw things away as new items come in.

instead of donating them to schools and libraries.

Libraries also have meeting rooms, etc. And they don't get a discount on their books like B&N does.

 

OP, have you seen a breakdown of the libraries operating expenses? If so, which line items do you have problem with?

 

I have tried to find a breakdown. I can't find one online. Perhaps if I go in person and ask for one, I might do that today because I am extremely curious as to where all that money is going. 

 

A meeting room costs virtually nothing to maintain and most B & N stores have comparable rooms such as offices, break rooms etc. Most B & N stores I have been to are substantially larger than any of the libraries here, so they would have higher energy costs.  B & N also pays to store thousands of books at any given location. They have many copies of every book on the shelf and pays people to do nothing other than replace them. A library generally has two to three copies of any given book (and sometimes only one). When B & N sell a book it has to be replaced. When a library rents a book they usually get it back. Plus, many library books are donated.

First let me say that my situation is a little different (though in a university library we still get state money).

We do get gifts but the majority of our books are purchased from vendors.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


Gawdzilla
atheist
Posts: 69
Joined: 2011-01-01
User is offlineOffline
Beyond Saving

Beyond Saving wrote:

Gawdzilla wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Libraries are also expected to keep and maintain everything that is in their collection outside of the occasional book sale and items where they only keep the latest edition.

Amazon and B&N, et al. can simply throw things away as new items come in.

instead of donating them to schools and libraries.

Libraries also have meeting rooms, etc. And they don't get a discount on their books like B&N does.

 

OP, have you seen a breakdown of the libraries operating expenses? If so, which line items do you have problem with?

 

I have tried to find a breakdown. I can't find one online. Perhaps if I go in person and ask for one, I might do that today because I am extremely curious as to where all that money is going. 

 

A meeting room costs virtually nothing to maintain and most B & N stores have comparable rooms such as offices, break rooms etc. Most B & N stores I have been to are substantially larger than any of the libraries here, so they would have higher energy costs.  B & N also pays to store thousands of books at any given location. They have many copies of every book on the shelf and pays people to do nothing other than replace them. A library generally has two to three copies of any given book (and sometimes only one). When B & N sell a book it has to be replaced. When a library rents a book they usually get it back. Plus, many library books are donated.

Your county comptroller should be able to give you that information.

You have to light and heat/A.C. the room and keep it equipped for meetings.

As for books, the school library in Belleville, Illinois gets $50/year for books. And unless a book is very popular you'll only find multiple copies on a shelf when they don't have enough books to fill the spaces.


Gauche
atheist
Gauche's picture
Posts: 1565
Joined: 2007-01-18
User is offlineOffline
They shouldn't really be

They shouldn't really be compared because a bookstore isn't an archive. If libraries changed their focus from building collections, promoting education and preserving culture then they'd be bookstores.

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
H.P. Lovecraft


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5815
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is onlineOnline
A significant cost in modern

A significant cost in modern public libraries is purchasing, maintaining, and upgrading electronic equipment, such as terminals for people to us in the library, and for the libraries catalog systems.

Then there is insurance for the collection, including replacement costs, which can be much higher for older items which may no longer in print, than the wholesale price of currently published books as in a book store.

The collections also have to be maintained, since they are not being continually replaced (at a net profit, BTW). 

Then there are transfer costs, as libraries usually rely on being able to fill requests from other libraries, to keep the size of each individual collection within bounds.

Anyway, this source should help clarify what it actually costs to run a decent modern library.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


Beyond Saving
Silver Member
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 4517
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is offlineOffline
I went to the library and

I went to the library and asked for a copy of their budget.... you would have thought I walked onto a military base and asked for nuclear launch codes, apparently not very many people ask about such information. Long story short, I have to go back on Monday.

 

As for utilities, the library is only open 55 hours per week. B & N around here is open 91 hours per week. Since it is open 40% more you would expect B & N to have higher utility costs than even a larger library. Although 3 out of our 4 libraries are smaller than any B & N store I have ever seen and the main library is probably comparable to the average B & N store in square footage. 

 

BobSpence1 wrote:

A significant cost in modern public libraries is purchasing, maintaining, and upgrading electronic equipment, such as terminals for people to us in the library, and for the libraries catalog systems.

And B & N doesn't have similar expenses? With the exception of the dozen terminals available for use at the main library, B & N has a similar wifi network, similar catalog, and similar tracking systems. So if you give the benefit of the doubt and add $2000 per year per terminal being used (way more than is probably necessary) you are only talking $24k a year. Pretty insignificant.

 

BobSpence1 wrote:

Then there is insurance for the collection, including replacement costs, which can be much higher for older items which may no longer in print, than the wholesale price of currently published books as in a book store.

Perhaps. I would be interested to see how much that costs. When I get the budget I will let you know if that can account for the budget difference between B & N and the library. I suspect that the cost is significantly less than B & N's advertising budget, advertising is also very expensive. And even with advertising included the library is still spending almost $500k more per branch. I doubt the insurance is anywhere near $500k per year for the whole district. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe I need to get into insuring libraries.  

 

BobSpence1 wrote:

Then there are transfer costs, as libraries usually rely on being able to fill requests from other libraries, to keep the size of each individual collection within bounds.

Again, B & N has similar, if not much greater, transfer costs. No doubt a typical B & N store goes through far more books that have to have replacements shipped in than your typical library has to mail books to another branch.

 

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


Gawdzilla
atheist
Posts: 69
Joined: 2011-01-01
User is offlineOffline
Utilities don't go to zero

Utilities don't go to zero when the library is closed.

As for electronics, B&N might have WiFi, but they don't provide terminals for X public citizens free of charge, as well as readers and copiers.

 


Beyond Saving
Silver Member
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 4517
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is offlineOffline
Gawdzilla wrote:Utilities

Gawdzilla wrote:

Utilities don't go to zero when the library is closed.

As for electronics, B&N might have WiFi, but they don't provide terminals for X public citizens free of charge, as well as readers and copiers.

I know they don't go to zero, but they are lower. The more you use your lights the more your electric bill is. Magic. I don't know if they adjust the thermostat during closed hours in a library. If they don't, they should. 

 

My library charges for copies. So you might have an upfront cost of the machine and a little for maintenance but I guarantee almost every B & N has an office with a similar style copy machine in the back. Most businesses do. They just use them for their own use rather than public use. Plus they have security cameras with recording equipment. Some large libraries might have similar equipment but not the ones around here. I still don't see a reason why the library should be more expensive.    

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


Gawdzilla
atheist
Posts: 69
Joined: 2011-01-01
User is offlineOffline
The heating and cooling for

The heating and cooling for a library of any size will be considerably more than a single store like B&N. Figure two floors above ground plus basement. Multiple rooms that must be heated and cooled. HVAC folks will tell you that's more of a challenge than a big empty.

And the library doesn't have one xerox, not the ones I know, more like five or six. And the charges don't cover the costs to operate, they're more for keeping people from using them frivolously. Check the line item for copier expenses when you get the info.

 


Answers in Gene...
High Level Donor
Answers in Gene Simmons's picture
Posts: 4214
Joined: 2008-11-11
User is offlineOffline
 It is an apples to oranges

 

It is an apples to oranges comparison. You have to remember that every time B&N replaces a book, it is because they made some money on the last copy of the same book. The library, on the other hand, replaces a book only when they don't get it back or it comes back too damaged to lend out yet again.

 

Also, damage costs are increasing for libraries as they are increasingly dealing in more fragile media such as DVDs and CDs that can only be lent a limited number of times.

 

Of course, they do get donations from time to time but not with any guarantee of consistency or quality. My mother was a librarian and I can tell you that one item in the budget is to have quite a lot of the donations hauled off to a land fill as the donated books are often nothing that they have any use for.

 

Then too, there is the cost for buying material that they actually have far less use for than you might think. I know that locally, the system generates a purchase order every time the reserve queue for a book goes over five requests. Which means that all too often, they end up buying many copies of a new book because it is a best seller and everyone wants to get a copy from the library. Of course, many best sellers are of the “popular now” variety. Hence the library ends up having to sell all of those books for a dollar. In all honesty, my library deals with a lot of that by putting a used book cart out in front of the place on sunny days with a little collection box which is on the honor system. The money that they may loose on those books which are not paid for is offset by the cost to staff the used book store.

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

=


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
Something no one has

Something no one has mentioned.  Most librarians have a Master's in Library Science - and there are reference and front desk librarians.  Shelvers are often volunteer.  But B&N is paying minimum wage and no health care benefits to everyone except perhaps the assistant manager and manager.

Which means there are probably a fair number of B&N employees eligible for food stamps and medicaid.

Many places - don't know about your county in Ohio - have laws that county/city employees must be paid enough that they are not eligible for food stamps and medicaid.  This was after a number of policemen and firemen were collecting food stamps to help feed their families as their salaries were lower than the poverty level.  Very embarrassing.

Public employees are like everyone else.  They want wages comparable to their peers.  A master's in library science working in the private sector - yes, those jobs exist - is making on average

http://www.ehow.com/facts_7478662_average-salary-library-science-majors.html wrote:

The respondents to the PayScale.com survey of MLS degree holders worked as librarians in various capacities. Among the best-paid were library directors, who earned $45,093 to $70,337 per year, and special library librarians, who made $47,166 to $72,437, as well as law librarians, who had a salary range of $38,035 to $78,611. Head librarians earned $40,084 to $63,077, while school librarians made $35,000 to $58,274. Reference librarians had a salary range of $39,021 to $54,574, while librarians made $32,824 to $50,890 per year.

 

Not pulled out public vs private at this source and I'm too lazy to look further.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


Gawdzilla
atheist
Posts: 69
Joined: 2011-01-01
User is offlineOffline
The library budget will

The library budget will often also include the Bookmobile and associated expenses, including insurance. And the library budget will include umbrella money for "Headstart" and things like that in many cases.

Do we know how many branches the library under examination has, btw?

 


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
Some collections have to be

Some collections have to be kept in a climate controlled area. Some libraries (particularly in universities) are open far longer than bookstores (some areas 24/7).

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


lalib
atheist
lalib's picture
Posts: 134
Joined: 2010-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Also, libraries buy 'library

Also, libraries buy 'library edition' copies of books which cost 4-5 times as much as the normal edition. Could the libraries be more efficient? Sure, the libraries in my county (Saint Louis County) have been implementing self checkout systems. Now you don't need a 8 dollar and hour human to check out books for you. 

 

Here is our Library System's budget. http://www.slcl.org/about/2011_budget.pdf

Go to page 10 for a line by line expense report. 35 mill income, and 35 mill expenditure. We have 20 branches in our system. So on average about 1.75 mill per branch for an avg of about 34 dollars per capita going to the library.

 

17.5 mill on salaries, another 6 mill for benefits/etc = 22.5 mill for employees

6 mill on books

6 mill on other misc expenses (insurance, custodial service, maintenance, office supplies, etc)

2 mill on building/tech improvements.

 

So you can see that each branch spends a bit over 1 mill on employees alone. The one bit of info I couldn't find is how many employees each branch has.

 


Answers in Gene...
High Level Donor
Answers in Gene Simmons's picture
Posts: 4214
Joined: 2008-11-11
User is offlineOffline
 It also bears mention that

 

It also bears mention that libraries, while producing little revenue (apart from late fees) have to manage the growing inventory that is the nature of the beast.

 

B&N has to operate at close to a one book out=one book in basis. And as noted, they make a profit on nearly every transaction. It can even be argued that they make a profit on the $2 books at the front of the store as they would otherwise have to pay to be carted off.

 

Public libraries, on the other hand, are also public records depositories. Mine has newspapers that are over a hundred years old on microfiche. In order for that data to matter, they have to keep the fiche hardware that has not been made in forty years current. Seriously, what if I want to research how common speakeasy bars were during prohibition? Where else would the data be kept?

 

 

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

=


Gawdzilla
atheist
Posts: 69
Joined: 2011-01-01
User is offlineOffline
lalib wrote:Also, libraries

lalib wrote:

Also, libraries buy 'library edition' copies of books which cost 4-5 times as much as the normal edition. Could the libraries be more efficient? Sure, the libraries in my county (Saint Louis County) have been implementing self checkout systems. Now you don't need a 8 dollar and hour human to check out books for you. 

 

Here is our Library System's budget. http://www.slcl.org/about/2011_budget.pdf

Go to page 10 for a line by line expense report. 35 mill income, and 35 mill expenditure. We have 20 branches in our system. So on average about 1.75 mill per branch for an avg of about 34 dollars per capita going to the library.

 

17.5 mill on salaries, another 6 mill for benefits/etc = 22.5 mill for employees

6 mill on books

6 mill on other misc expenses (insurance, custodial service, maintenance, office supplies, etc)

2 mill on building/tech improvements.

 

So you can see that each branch spends a bit over 1 mill on employees alone. The one bit of info I couldn't find is how many employees each branch has.

 

I have a St. Louis County Library card.


lalib
atheist
lalib's picture
Posts: 134
Joined: 2010-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Gawdzilla wrote: I have a

Gawdzilla wrote:

 

I have a St. Louis County Library card.

 

Are you still in STL?


Gawdzilla
atheist
Posts: 69
Joined: 2011-01-01
User is offlineOffline
lalib wrote:Gawdzilla

lalib wrote:

Gawdzilla wrote:

 

I have a St. Louis County Library card.

 

Are you still in STL?

I-44, exit 257. I volunteer at the Endangered Wolf Center, north of Antire Road. (It's on Washington University's Tyson Research Center between Fenton and Eureka.)


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5486
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
(No subject)


lalib
atheist
lalib's picture
Posts: 134
Joined: 2010-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Gawdzilla wrote: I-44, exit

Gawdzilla wrote:

 

I-44, exit 257. I volunteer at the Endangered Wolf Center, north of Antire Road. (It's on Washington University's Tyson Research Center between Fenton and Eureka.)

 

Cool, I'm off of 44 as well, though I commute downtown to go to university.

 

I didn't know there was an Endangered Wolf Center in STL. Do you all work with wolves or is it an administrative office?


Gawdzilla
atheist
Posts: 69
Joined: 2011-01-01
User is offlineOffline
WUSTL? The Endangered Wolf

WUSTL?

 

The Endangered Wolf Center has the largest captive population of Mexican Grey Wolves (Canus Lupus baileyi) in the world. We have twenty-five of them, and every MGW in the wild is descended from our animals. Marlin Perkins started the place in 1941 as The Wild Canid Research and Survival Center. We also have red wolves (native to Missouri), maned wolves from South America, African wild dogs and swift foxes.  You can see some of them at endangeredwolfcenter.org.

I'm a volunteer doscent.


lalib
atheist
lalib's picture
Posts: 134
Joined: 2010-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Gawdzilla wrote:WUSTL? The

Gawdzilla wrote:

WUSTL?

 

The Endangered Wolf Center has the largest captive population of Mexican Grey Wolves (Canus Lupus baileyi) in the world. We have twenty-five of them, and every MGW in the wild is descended from our animals. Marlin Perkins started the place in 1941 as The Wild Canid Research and Survival Center. We also have red wolves (native to Missouri), maned wolves from South America, African wild dogs and swift foxes.  You can see some of them at endangeredwolfcenter.org.

I'm a volunteer doscent.

 

Unfortunately (especially since I'm now an atheist) I'm at SLU (Jesuit/Catholic University for those unfamiliar with saint louis university).

 

That's pretty cool stuff with the wolves. I'll have to check it out sometime. I've never seen a wolf. One quick question though, the website says that you can tame and socialize a wolf but not domesticate them, do you mind a quick sentence or two explaining the difference between the terms: tame, socialize, and domesticate. 

 


Gawdzilla
atheist
Posts: 69
Joined: 2011-01-01
User is offlineOffline
lalib wrote:Gawdzilla

lalib wrote:

Gawdzilla wrote:

WUSTL?

 

The Endangered Wolf Center has the largest captive population of Mexican Grey Wolves (Canus Lupus baileyi) in the world. We have twenty-five of them, and every MGW in the wild is descended from our animals. Marlin Perkins started the place in 1941 as The Wild Canid Research and Survival Center. We also have red wolves (native to Missouri), maned wolves from South America, African wild dogs and swift foxes.  You can see some of them at endangeredwolfcenter.org.

I'm a volunteer doscent.

 

Unfortunately (especially since I'm now an atheist) I'm at SLU (Jesuit/Catholic University for those unfamiliar with saint louis university).

Quote:

You have my sympathy. I drive through there regularly on the way to the Va.

 

That's pretty cool stuff with the wolves. I'll have to check it out sometime. I've never seen a wolf. One quick question though, the website says that you can tame and socialize a wolf but not domesticate them, do you mind a quick sentence or two explaining the difference between the terms: tame, socialize, and domesticate.

 

With a wolf, or any other wild canid, you can become a pack member, even the alpha. So you can have a wolf or hybrid in your home and it will be subordinate to you. BUT you can lose that alpha status unwittingly and then you're faced with a wolf that thinks they're the boss. At that point you have to fight for the top spot or become a subordinate yourself. Humans domesticated wolves by eliminating the ones who didn't see humans as automatically superior to them in all cases. (And we may not have gotten them all even yet.) And as there can be only one alpha male and alpha female the wolf or hybrid can decide to "work things out" with another family member, resulting in a dead or damaged child and an animal that has to be put down.

 

I include hybrids in the above because they're considered more dangerous than pure wolves because people think they're safer. Just breeding a wolf with a German shepherd doesn't guarantee you'll have a "good little wolfy", the breeder has no idea what parts of the animal are wolf and what parts are domestic. It's a crap shoot and the despair of people who are trying to restore the wolf to its place as North America's top predator (after humans, of course). We don't take hybrids, and the places that do are suffering from overload.

 

Bottom line is you can invite a time bomb into your home, or get something besides a hybrid. The wow factor of owning a "wolf" does not balance out the potential hazards.


Ktulu
atheist
Posts: 1830
Joined: 2010-12-21
User is offlineOffline
Gawdzilla wrote:Bottom line

Gawdzilla wrote:

Bottom line is you can invite a time bomb into your home, or get something besides a hybrid. The wow factor of owning a "wolf" does not balance out the potential hazards.

I've always wondered that, and as a child I've always wanted to try it.  Have there been any successful cases of wolves being tamed?  

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
Ktulu wrote:Gawdzilla

Ktulu wrote:

Gawdzilla wrote:

Bottom line is you can invite a time bomb into your home, or get something besides a hybrid. The wow factor of owning a "wolf" does not balance out the potential hazards.

I've always wondered that, and as a child I've always wanted to try it.  Have there been any successful cases of wolves being tamed?  

 

Well, yeah.  They're called dogs.

Actually, dogs are domesticated.  Domestication involves changes in the genome as caused by humans breeding for particular traits.  Whole lot of literature on that subject.  A great article in National Geographic on domesticated foxes.  It's an experiment that has been running over 50 years in Russia.  This is their short version on line.  The article in the paper magazine is much longer.

http://www.suite101.com/content/pet-foxes---the-national-geographic-take-a355708

Domestication - changes in the genome

Tamed - always sort of - never completely.  It usually means the animal tolerates humans and will respond to operant conditioning.  Sure - tamed wolves exist - but they are NOT SOCIALIZED NECESSARILY AND NOT DOMESTICATED.  Which means, don't ever trust them and watch your fingers and never stare.

Socialized - raised as an infant around humans and so tolerates a wide range of human oddities.  Humans are socialized when infants as well.  A dog may be domesticated but not well socialized.  Socialization occurs during infancy - dogs from about 5 weeks to about 5 months.  Human babies up until 18 months - 2 years. 

If you get a puppy, to properly socialize it take it everywhere you can.  On buses and trains (check if you need a carrier).  To parking lots and play grounds and out of town and around town and meet all kinds of people - including handicapped using canes, wheelchairs, walkers, etc.  Different genders and colors is also important.  To a dog, a white person is not the same as chocolate brown is not the same as black.  Boys are not girls - girls are not boys.  Different dog breeds - you don't want a dog that goes for yorkies - though personally, I wouldn't blame the dog but it can get pretty spendy if you have to replace a lot of yorkies for their owners.  In short, socialize the pup to everywhere you may go and everyone you may want the dog to be polite around for the rest of his/her life.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


Gawdzilla
atheist
Posts: 69
Joined: 2011-01-01
User is offlineOffline
Ktulu wrote:Gawdzilla

Ktulu wrote:

Gawdzilla wrote:

Bottom line is you can invite a time bomb into your home, or get something besides a hybrid. The wow factor of owning a "wolf" does not balance out the potential hazards.

I've always wondered that, and as a child I've always wanted to try it.  Have there been any successful cases of wolves being tamed?  

 

cj did a good job on that. If you have a few thousand years you can turn a wolf into a dog, but you'll no longer have a wolf.

 

Case in point: I was blowing leaves this morning and everybody evacuated as best they could when the blower started. EXCEPT the African wild dogs. They came over and laid down next to the fence behind me. They wanted me to know they were not intimidated by the noise. Being the most successful predator on Earth can do that for you. The AWDs  don't care if you're a human or not, they'll hunt you. If a wolf or hybrid loses their fear of humans, you are one step closer to being a star on "Fatal Attractions".


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13623
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is onlineOnline
Beyond. Out of all the

Beyond. Out of all the things to complain about, this has to be the biggest "wow" "really?" Reaction I have had to anything you have disagreed with me with.

First of it is a utopia to suggest that all 300 million of us, including me, will only pay taxes for the things we personally like. I pay the salaries of republicans I did not vote for.  I would only worry about that if there was a sudden change and could no longer attempt to vote them out of office. I am paying for wars I didn't agree with that took us from a surplus to the dept we have today, not to mention the no rules attitude Wal Street has paid both parties off with.

But libraries? So information should only be available to people who can afford it? You cannot privatize everything, that is absurd. That can and will only lead to a monopoly and would be just as bad as a political monopoly or religious monopoly.

There has to be public records kept available to all, regardless of class, libraries are ONE way to make access to history, entertainment, science, culture and art, available to those who otherwise wouldn't have it.

You cannot, nor should not privatize all information. EVEN the freedom of information act supports a check on monopolies of information. Libraries are public vaults that protect information.

The biggest library in antiquity in Alexandria was burned to the ground. It is hindsight now, how much more quickly we could have advanced as a species if this PUBLIC LIBRARY had not been destroyed.

Cutting costs is one thing, but outright suggesting that we rid society of libraries is downright scary.

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
Gawdzilla wrote:Ktulu

Gawdzilla wrote:

Ktulu wrote:

Gawdzilla wrote:

Bottom line is you can invite a time bomb into your home, or get something besides a hybrid. The wow factor of owning a "wolf" does not balance out the potential hazards.

I've always wondered that, and as a child I've always wanted to try it.  Have there been any successful cases of wolves being tamed?  

 

cj did a good job on that. If you have a few thousand years you can turn a wolf into a dog, but you'll no longer have a wolf.

 

Case in point: I was blowing leaves this morning and everybody evacuated as best they could when the blower started. EXCEPT the African wild dogs. They came over and laid down next to the fence behind me. They wanted me to know they were not intimidated by the noise. Being the most successful predator on Earth can do that for you. The AWDs  don't care if you're a human or not, they'll hunt you. If a wolf or hybrid loses their fear of humans, you are one step closer to being a star on "Fatal Attractions".

 

The Portland Zoo just set up a Serengeti exhibit - including African Wild Dogs.  A fun fact - they are the most successful predator in Africa.  Of lions, cheetahs and AWD, lions have the lowest success rate, AWD have the highest by far.  They have a video of a hunting pack after a gazelle.  There is one dog chasing the gazelle.  Another dog comes in from an angle and takes over the chase.  The gazelle gets to a large lake and jumps in and swims away - almost immediately about 20 AWD are gathered on the shore of the lake staring after the gazelle.  You can almost hear them say - "Well, way to go, Fred.  You know that was our lunch."  Watching them stalk prey - they move like Border Collies.  No wonder livestock will move for a BC.

Watch your fingers.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
Brian37 wrote:Cutting costs

Brian37 wrote:

Cutting costs is one thing, but outright suggesting that we rid society of libraries is downright scary.

 

Totally 100% agree. 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


Gawdzilla
atheist
Posts: 69
Joined: 2011-01-01
User is offlineOffline
cj wrote:The Portland Zoo

cj wrote:
The Portland Zoo just set up a Serengeti exhibit - including African Wild Dogs.  A fun fact - they are the most successful predator in Africa.  Of lions, cheetahs and AWD, lions have the lowest success rate, AWD have the highest by far.  They have a video of a hunting pack after a gazelle.  There is one dog chasing the gazelle.  Another dog comes in from an angle and takes over the chase.  The gazelle gets to a large lake and jumps in and swims away - almost immediately about 20 AWD are gathered on the shore of the lake staring after the gazelle.  You can almost hear them say - "Well, way to go, Fred.  You know that was our lunch."  Watching them stalk prey - they move like Border Collies.  No wonder livestock will move for a BC.

Watch your fingers.

 

AWD kill rate is about 60%, "timber wolves" are happy with 10%. I noted with interest a segment on Kalahari bushmen who would run down prey, pushing it until it was exhausted. I'm betting they learned that from the AWD.


Gawdzilla
atheist
Posts: 69
Joined: 2011-01-01
User is offlineOffline
Do we have the library

Do we have the library operating budget yet?


Beyond Saving
Silver Member
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 4517
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is offlineOffline
For those still interested

Gawdzilla wrote:

Do we have the library operating budget yet?

Yes got it. Found out where all the money is going too. Their proposed budget has a little over $5 million going to salaries & benefits for 71 employees. That works out to be an average of $70,000 per employee. Well there is your problem. When you are paying 71 employees to run four libraries and paying wages that are twice the average wage in the county..... no wonder you are blowing through a shit load of money. I did not get a breakdown of exactly where the salary is going. I doubt it is going to the nice old lady behind the questions desk. Maybe I will go back and ask about that. Compared to their current operating budget, nearly ALL of the additional $3 million is going to wages. So the joke is on the voters who thought that voting for the $3 million was going to increase the awesomeness of the library.... it is simply going to increase the awesomeness of the homes owned by the higher ups in the library.

 

@ Brian & CJ

 

I am not really against public libraries (at least they are really close to the bottom of my list) this just came up because the library sent me a letter about the $3 million extra they were getting because of the bond issue and then moaning that it wasn't enough because of the additional cuts that the evil Kasich was planning and asking me to personally donate more money at a fundraiser to make up for it. So I got curious. And was shocked at how much money they had and were claiming was "not enough". As a rather frequent library patron I was initially inclined to throw some money their way. However, after looking at the numbers, there is no way I am giving them more. Just because I like the library, isn't a good reason to ignore a system that is being hugely inefficient with taxpayer money. And as I suspected, they are not sinking the money into improving the library, they are putting it in their own pockets.

 

Further research has also shown that $2 million is near the high end of running a library branch. Most library branches I have found info on run on between 800k and 1.5 million with only large city libraries exceeding $2 million. I can kind of understand a major metro library running $2 million +, they generally have a lot of amenities and much higher traffic. The libraries around here are among the WORST in the state, and as someone who has traveled the state extensively I can say that from experience.    

 

Really, I'm not going to stress about it too much. The amount I pay for the library is far less than I pay for countless other and more useless things from the government. But I will certainly let my fellow voters in the area know where their money is going. And next time your library is asking you to vote to give them more money, I suggest you look at their budget and see where the money is going. Too many Americans simply go "well I like the library so I am going to vote yes" with no idea of how much it takes to run a library, or what the money will be used for- same thing goes with schools.

 

Many schools use similar tactics as the library, they will cut the most popular programs while funding things no one cares about in hopes that people will vote to increase taxes to get their favorite programs back. When I lived in Des Moines the mayor actually turned off the traffic lights to try to get a tax increase through arguing that the city didn't have enough money to pay for them. While the traffic lights were blinking yellow because we apparently didn't have enough money to make them green or red, I watched a city worker watering the plants in the median.....during the worst rainstorm of the year. What is more important, traffic lights to move traffic quickly and safely, or watering plants in the rain. Fortunately, the good people of Des Moines were smart enough to throw that bum out of office.

 

I do the exact same thing with private charities. Anytime someone asks me for money I demand to see their budgets because many private charities operate on the same principal. They get money from people because their cause is good but then put massive amounts of money into their own pockets and only a little actually goes to the intended purpose. Just because a cause is good is not a reason to hand them money blindly and trust them, whether it is a government organization or a private charity. So if anything, I hope this thread might inspire one or two people to check the budgets of their local libraries and at least be informed where it is going. If you think your library is spending its money well, great. If you library is wasteful, perhaps you shouldn't support giving them more. From what I have seen since I have been interested, some libraries spend their money far more wisely than others, and the ones in my county are among the worst.

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson