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Posts Tagged ‘Power’


What a fabulous idea this is, highlighting yet again just how great public libraries are.  I wonder if we could get our local lines company to do a similar thing.

The Latest Public Library Loan? Electricity Meters By David Rapp [From the Library Journal]

Spurred by concerns about conservation and cost, public utilities across the country have begun to partner with libraries, enabling loans of portable Kill A Watt electricity meters, which can be used to gauge home power usage.

Once home, a patron plugs the meter into the wall, plugs an appliance into the meter, and enters electricity rate information. The meter then shows how much power the appliance uses and how much that power costs.

Broad interest nationally

The meters are a huge hit in some libraries: at the Seattle Public Library (SPL), there are currently 660 holds on 100 meters, according to the SPL’s online catalog.

Such initiatives have been underway in several library systems over the past year or so, including the Boston Public Library (BPL) (announced in June 2009), where the initiative is a partnership with the city and the power company, and the SPL (announced in May 2010), a partnership with the local power company.

A program instituted by the Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS) in Atlanta began in August 2009, funded with a one-time grant through a state agency, the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (now called the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority). “Ours was definitely not the first,” GPLS Communications Director David Baker told LJ, adding that at the time there had already been smaller programs in Illinois, Maine, and New Hampshire.

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What Powers That May Be


The following is the rough draft of the opening of a story I am writing:

“It was a Tuesday morning in October when the world as we knew it ended.

At 10 am our local time all electricity worldwide stopped, and everything that needed power to run stopped. Planes feel from the sky, cars stopped, and every nuclear power plant in the world lost containment. Millions died.

Off course we didn’t know most of those details then, as we had lost all communications. For the next week we struggled to make sense of our new world. The laws of physics seemed to have been overturned, as nothing we did seemed to turn the flow back on. Humanity quickly descended into barbarism, with looting, rioting and murder rife.

Then the power came back on. Slowly over the next week we came to grips with the horror that had engulfed the world. We were forced to revaluate our priorities. I was a small time librarian, living on a small lifestyle block with my wife and five kids. I lived on the cutting edge of technology administering to the library systems.

We thought the worst was over. We were wrong.

On midnight October 31 2016 the monsters came out to play.”

Why am I sharing?

I enjoy the Science Fiction, Fantasy genres, and have pretentions to being a writer. One day I might finish one of my stories. One of the aspects of Science Fiction, especially that sub-genre speculative fiction, is to posit the question “What if?”

Which is where this story comes in and this post. I thought to myself “What if we lost all power and the ability to generate electricity?” Very quickly this led me to think beyond the realms of fiction into reality. 

There are a number of real life issues surrounding the idea of us losing power beyond any fantastical scenario dreamt up for entertainment. For instance, just how would we cope in a small rural library, if power was disconnected for an extended period of time. I don’t know about you but 95% of my job is tied to a computer, and a hundred percent of our stock control is online. If power became unreliable how set up would we be to return to a card catalogue and manual issue?

On Friday I saw an article about a school in the United States which has decided to get rid of it’s physical library and replace that with an almost purely digital one.  Is it too soon to reject the physical media? What about archival material only found in a digital format? What if we lost the power and ability to access digital only media? How valued and sustainable would the modern library be?

I don’t have any answers, but wonder what would our monsters be?

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