found Ars in our local library

I found a copy of Ars 5e in our local library (St Kilda, Australia), and had to take a picture and share. Seems that there are some savvy librarian-gamers around. I know Queensland has a few.

My local library has some gaming material listed in the index. Unfortunately, it's all listed as 'missing'...

Somebody apparently came to the conclusion that those books were too cool to stay as the property of the library.

Be good to see more of this! Though checking the book out would be good for casual reading but not running a saga :slight_smile:

cj x

I checked out a few other systems and was reading them over the weekend, but alas didn't find much in the first one that I'd use (pathfinder).
A very good way to see if the systems is suitable to your style. I'd like to know who recommended Ars for an rpg section of a library.

Timothy Ferguson?

No, I'm up in Queensland, but my library doesn't do a lot of gaming. We have a big-box model and the staff time it takes to run, say, a three hour adventure for 12 kids could be used instead to run six storytelling sessions, with 50 per session.

I did try to get everything that's ever received a Diana Jones award purchased once, but the program fell through. We do have some stuff, because like most big libraries our purchasing is now done for us by aggregators, and they tend to ship out RPGs sometimes. We have a bit of D&D4, some Buffy, that sort of thing.

Re: a concerted push to get ArM5 into libraries, it would be better if we had a "jump start kit" type product, or if Atlas would track down the Overdrive people and let them distribute the ArM4 pdf for free through their system. Also, it might be better if it wasn't in quarto (that is, if the book was smaller).

Australia doesn't do a lot of Internation Games Day stuff. Perhaps we should.

Purchasing through aggregators? If you don't mind the side topic, what does that mean?

Neat to find the RPG books in the library. I wish more libraries had an RPG section.

Most large public libraries no longer select or catalogue the vast majority of their own books. Instead, they create a profile with a provider, and enter into a service contract where the provider, called an "aggregator" provides them with a certain number of books, over a certain period, in exchange for a specific amount of money. The service contract also usually includes digital records for the items, shelf-readiness (barcodes, security features, ownership stamps).

This means the library can fire (or, in growth areas, redeploy) most of their selection and cataloging staff. Some retain sufficient staff that they can make small, local purchases (local history, for example) and they tend to retain enough cataloguing skill to get by in specialist areas (realia, for example). It also means you don't need as large a space to do collection management in, which saves you money if your council charges the library rent (a common practice now that sinking funds for libraries are compulsory in this state).

The one problem with this system is that a large player tends to force out all other players. For example, for a while you couldn't get new magazines in Queensland public libraries, because the aggregator had pushed for maximum market share by cutting down their price. They sent their rivals out of business and soon they had virtually all of us on board. Then, they went broke. There was literally no business with the infrastructure to step in and take their place, and none of us could scale up in a cost-effective way, to do the job in-house. Eventually one of the big publishing houses did step in and provide a service, although it cost a bit more.

You can see why they were reluctant: now that we have direct electronic distribution of newspapers and magazines (PressDisplay and Zinio) who would want to own a magazine covering warehouse?

(Not representing my employer. Seriously.)

Speaking as a librarian, but not as a representative of my employer, check if your library has a recommendation to purchase policy. Mine does. We order stuff people ask for all of the time. You just type your card number, title and author into our web page, and six weeks later we hand you the book.

If you do the selection it means:

a) the book is more likely to circulate than some random book sent to us by our supplier.
b) we don't need to pay a librarian to think about how to spend the money. Librarians cost us $25 an hour, man! If you save us five minutes, that's like $2.

(This is also why libraries don't repair books much anymore. A paperback that costs us $12, so if it gets damaged, the question is "If we spend time to fix this, is it going to circulate enough to warrant the cost of the repair, or should we just buy a new one?")

Thank you Timothy. Seems to be a fair conceptual overlap to my brother who worked for orgs serving the primary school book trade for a while; and has suffered through a few businesses closing.