I've heard the death of newspapers predicted so many times. Maybe no one wants to pay for a paper, but people are willing to beg, borrow and steal them. One of the librarians at BHPL caught the Wall Street Journal thief redhanded recently. The thief stammered, "just looking at the headlines" as he was about to get into his car with BHPL's copy. In the "beg" category we have many calls at the end of the year for our old non-local newspapers, including one from someone who would marry the Investor's Business Daily "if it were a woman".
BHPL has the local paper, the Independent Press, from 1965 to the present, in paper. People seem to prefer looking through paper, but I'd much rather look at The Dispatch, the other local paper which closed in 2007. We have it back to 1956 as PDF files on a computer. (Just ask at the reference desk if you want to browse through it). True, you can only search a few issues at a time using Adobe Reader's search option, but it's better than skimming through paper and wondering if you missed something. And there's no wrangling with the photocopier - just press print.
You don't even have to come in to the library to read back issues of the Star-Ledger (1996-present). Just go to bhplnj.org and click on Databases and Articles. You'll need the number on the barcode of your BHPL card to log in. Do the same to read the archives of the New York Times (1857-2006).
It's true that the printed word in "hard copy" (not digital, that is) is still popular as far as we can tell at this library. so popular in fact that there has been a rash of newspaper and popular magazine thefts lately.
I love this post and am happy you caught the culprit. I understand that newspapers have been walking out of several area libraries lately. At lease the upside to this story is that it shows newspapers are far from dead.
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