Monday, February 10, 2014

French Schools and Shops

Our public library flooded 6 years ago. All the books were ruined. It gave those in charge a chance to rebuild a library to "21st century" standards.

The result? No reference section. No microfilm. No out-of-print books. What was added? Treadmill-powered computers. A cafe with drive-up window (no joke), a young-adult section without books, outfitted with computers and video games, a bay of DVD-rental vending machines.

And the woodworking section? The bottom two shelves of my Jefferson bookcase at home rivals it. The old library had all the bound back-issues of Fine Woodworking, Krenov, Sloane, Nutting, Kingshott, etc. etc. They made no effort to replace any of these books. None. Want to do some research on local history? Look up an obituary? Find an old newspaper article? Sorry, we don't offer that here. But we can supply you with the latest issue of Weekly World News and a Grande Caramel Macchiatto Panchetta Panini.

What does the future look like for libraries? Who knows. But if our's is any example, it's not good. That's why I'm thankful for the internet. Transferal of knowledge is up to us now. Not that my library ever had any info on old French vocational schools, mind you. But if it weren't for the internet, much of this imagery would be out of reach, gathering dust in boxes and cabinets half a world away.

I gathered these images during our research for our Classic Leg Vise. Hope you enjoy them. We love them.

For the full gallery, click here: French Schools and Shops


  1. Take a shopping list of books you would like the library to aquire and give it to them. There should be a buget for new books. They may have to buy one less copy of "Fifty Shades of Whatever", but there is no reason for them not to get books that the patrons are asking for.

  2. Thanks for posting the fantastic photos! I really enjoyed them. And completely agree with you about the library. It's sad, but they are fighting to survive against politicians who want their scalps.
    Interlibrary loan is still the greatest thing that no one uses, though. In the last few months, my library has gotten me all sorts of obscure, out of print books on planes & planemaking, without complaint.




  4. Yikes! Those robes are awfully close to those unguarded bandsaw wheels. I'd like to have heard the order before the shutter snapped, "look busy!"

  5. Hello, as a librarian/woodworker, I just had to make a quick comment. I agree with the first commenter that I hope you approached you local library and told them your issues, they need to know that they are not serving the needs of their community. Also, much of the information you are finding online, including some of what Chris Schwarz links to from his blog, is provided by libraries. Either the digitization, access, or both. I am not sure what the future is ever, but I do know most of us are concerned with more than coffee sales :)

    I love the blog by the way, and the fact that you are willing to put some much great info online for free. It is a great help to people like me who are just starting.


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