Exposing Amateur Radio to the Public A Case for the Public Library

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KR9T, May 21, 2020.

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  1. M0KLG

    M0KLG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    In the UK, times certainly "are a changin".
    It used to be if you wanted access the the internet, you went to your public library.
    Now if you want a book, you go to the internet from home.
    Many County Councils cannot afford to keep libraries open, due to budget cuts from cenral government, and arguably there is no longer a need.
    My in-laws buy their books from charity shops, stall etc. OK you may not get the latest titles, but there is Kindle and others for that.
    Many many technical reference books are free for Kindle and other electronic readers.
    UK libraries are closing at the rate of 150 -200 per year. We have to find other ways of getting the ham radio showcase out there.
    Good luck with your ideas in the US, as long as you still have libraries.


  2. K4FMH

    K4FMH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    “On a side note: Private schools were acceptive of Ham radio / communication course / certificate. The public schools, are difficult, way to bureaucratic.”

    Tom, you’re spot on in this distinction. Few public school administrators get fired by saying No...but can if they say Yes,
    N6HCM and MW1CFN like this.
  3. MW1CFN

    MW1CFN Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's certainly true library sites are closing, but the provision of a library service in the UK - however that is achieved - is in fact a statutory requirement, and remains firmly in place.

    Have you checked your local library services recently? Did you know you can access hundreds of magazines, both popular and very niche, for free? That's a huge benefit when you consider most magazines now cost £5 or more; that's a lot to spend on advertising, interspersed with some articles. Any book you may want, you can request, either new or from locations across the UK (or more widely in certain cases).

    Remember: a large proportion of the population do not have a bank account, and therefore can't get internet at home. They can get it all at the library, for free. Cost to the taxpayer? Probably about the same as a single bottle of the cheapest wine per year.
    N6HCM, KC3EWA and K4FMH like this.
  4. K4FMH

    K4FMH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Indeed! In the US, public libraries are not “closing” writ large as the post you’re responding to suggests. Actual data n US public libraries are available since 1988. See this link: https://www.imls.gov/news/one-year-people-visited-public-libraries-more-billion-times
    N6HCM likes this.
  5. M0KLG

    M0KLG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    It is true that library services are a statutory requirement, and if you hold a library card, there are many daily newspapers and other magazines that you can read for free on the internet.
    However as far as the OP goes, it's pretty hard to demonstrate Amatuer Radio in your local library when you dont have one. (does Bangor still have a physical library?)
    I'm pretty sure in your QTH as well as mine this would be difficult from a once a week mobile library.


  6. WA8Y

    WA8Y XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Our school system was very receptive. My club, the Midland ARC in Midland, MI (think dam flooding) sponsors clubs and the Middle School and at one of the High Schools. The High School has a very good station which is often used in Public Service Events and ARRL School Club Round up.
    K4FMH likes this.
  7. NN2X

    NN2X Ham Member QRZ Page

    This maybe the case for you, but across the board (Entering to Public Schools), I can assure you at the private schools with a ratio of either 4:1 or 8:1, and the parents are paying dearly, are by far more receptive to receive Ham radio (Well I rebranded to call it "Communication course" . Also putting up a Hex Beam with a Mast, along with setting up a table with small amplifier is not so easy, even using a private school.

    Our public school here in Allen Texas, is one of the best in Texas in the USA. Allen Texas, is voted # 2 town to live in the USA, much of this was due to the school here in Allen. ..

    Having said all that, If Hams can go to a public school, or private school, it does not matter, all good!.

    But it should be an effort and an aggressive one, as all those young adults who are destined to be a Engineer or Technician are not being exposed to Ham radio, and what a shame.

    We all see the results, just go to any Ham club, and see the aging population! Average age is now 55 years old (I saw this survey done most recently!)

    ARRL should be the ones to charter this (Ask the Ham Clubs)....If we are trying to protect are frequencies, what best way to do this, other than having more "Active" and young Hams using those frequencies we are trying to protect...

    NN2X / Tom
  8. NK9Y

    NK9Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    Or, you can reread his short post. My interpretation was that he said that in jest. In other words, his meaning of "expose" may be a tad bit different than your interpretation. Just a thought. 73 de NK9Y
    K0MB likes this.
  9. AA1PR

    AA1PR Ham Member QRZ Page

    when folks think of ham radio "oh those guys that wipe out my tv & radio"
  10. KC3EWA

    KC3EWA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here in America, I've also seen a lot of people using libraries as meeting space (a lot of radio clubs meet in library meeting rooms), a place where kids go to study for exams, a place where people without lots of money can go and get out of the house without spending anything, a place where kids from less-than-loving homes go to get away from the mess, and a place where older people who have no desire to own a computer but find themselves in need of one a few times a year can go and use a computer for free. It's also a place where you can just go and relax in a pin-drop quiet place where nobody will bother you. Not to mention a lot of libraries have expanded their collections to non-book items, like 3d printers, fishing poles, Kill-A-Watt electricity meters, metal detectors, and even specialty cookware that somebody would only have occasion to use once or twice a year.

    Given how little our libraries are funded here in the US of A, I'd say that the average yearly cost to the individual taxpayer is the cost of an average pint. I'll also say that the libraries of America are doing a pretty damn fine job for how little they get. Imagine what they could do if they were properly funded!
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
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