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Libraries in Achaea: a Discussion

EheneEhene Member Posts: 67 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
I don't typically start up discussions, but I've been wondering about this for a while now so I figured I'd try to gauge people's feelings.

Libraries in Achaea seem, to me, like wasted potential for character growth and development, both in the individual sense and as organizations. Now, I can't obviously speak for every City and House and Order, but I have visited a good handful of places only to find that their libraries are substantially lacking in either literature or use. I know that not everyone is into significant roleplaying, that there are people who just want to have a grand old time bashing and hunting and sparring, and that's totally fine! I'm not here to judge anyone's playing style or preferences. Furthermore, I know that as an outsider looking in, I don't and can't have a complete idea of how things work in communities not my own.

What I want to discuss is the opportunities that libraries can offer everyone - from young combatants seeking information to hone their skills, to haughty academics looking for new ideas on how the world works, to aspiring bards looking to get their work out into the world for people to experience. Libraries are bastions of knowledge, institutions devoted to thought and the communication of ideas. Yet, I feel that few people really appreciate them as such. I know writing is difficult and that we each have a finite amount of time to spend enjoying ourselves, but it's not just about writing books; hold a quiz, play some games, have a lecture or a discussion! In much the same way that real libraries offer a multitude of services and not just book loans, I think the libraries of Achaea should be considered as similar opportunities for enjoyment and growth.

Because this is a discussion and not just me ranting about how underappreciated libraries are, I'd like to ask for anyone and everyone's opinions on the subject.

Comments

  • NazihkNazihk Member Posts: 589 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    edited November 2016
    I don't want to write books and I don't want to spend my playing time reading in-game history books or attending in-game lectures.

    If you try to force me to do these things, or even push them heavily, I will just quit your organization and find someplace that is not going to push them on me. There's a good amount of people out there with similar feelings, enough so that a heavy library emphasis is usually a losing prospect.
    Atalkez
  • ArmaliArmali Member, Secret Squirrel Posts: 608 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    I remember back in the day, the system was used a lot. I think the reduction in usage is just a product of age - the mystique around much of Achaea is gone, the deep immersion. We're all just retreads, grinding the same wheel we've been grinding for decades.
    EheneVender
  • KresslackKresslack Florida, United StatesMember Posts: 5,629 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I think it depends on the individual and the organization. Some organizations, past and present, incorporate the need to use libraries for various tasks. There's also the personal collectors. While it's use seems to have dropped significantly after the Renaissance, I think they're very useful and underrated resources, and would like to see them get used more.


    Ehene
  • NazihkNazihk Member Posts: 589 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Armali said:
    I remember back in the day, the system was used a lot. I think the reduction in usage is just a product of age - the mystique around much of Achaea is gone, the deep immersion. We're all just retreads, grinding the same wheel we've been grinding for decades.
    One thing that I think a lot of people fail to account for is that back in the old days the guilds were the sole arbiters of class. Want to be an Occultist? There's only one way to be one and since they want you to read 30 pages of material about the Chaos Planes and then write a 3 page paper explaining them, you're going to have to suck it up and read the books. Want to be a Bard in Imperian? I hope you don't mind studying the history of the world pretty extensively, passing a test, and then writing your own performance piece to show off for the guild, all before you can leave the novice program. This kind of thing made for more studying of the lore and it raised immersion in the world by default.

    On the other hand, it also stymied growth, killed guilds, and generally was a negative. It is hard to attract players, especially college age players today, when you have a game that basically assigns you mandatory homework and writing assignments in the tutorial.
    Ehene
  • KorbenKorben Member Posts: 345 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Armali said:
    We're all just retreads, grinding the same wheel we've been grinding for decades.
    Some of us are originals !
  • ZahanZahan ValhallaMember Posts: 188 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    When libraries were new and exciting, people built them and put time and effort into making them.  I've seen a few really impressive libraries.  Over time, though, these orgs have been destroyed.  Most orgs have been destroyed.

    I think also all the org help scrolls (clhelp, etc) have worked to make libraries obsolete. 

    It could have been really neat, instead, to see that system worked into the library system.  As in, scrolls that can be pulled out any number of times (so you aren't limited to copies, in case of novice influx).  That would remove the convenience of the orghelp files on the fly, though.

    I still think libraries are cool, and I always look through the selection of books when I stumble upon one.  If someone made a badass public library in a sub house somewhere, I'd go out of my way.
    Click here for Nexus packages
    Currently available: Abs, Cnote, Keepalive, Lootpet, Mapmod
    Ehene
  • KorbenKorben Member Posts: 345 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Nazihk said:

    This kind of thing (House requirements) made for more studying of the lore and it raised immersion in the world by default.
    Immersion used to be a thing in the old days. Maybe @Armali is right and people insisted on it because all of this was so new and different and people wanted to be as much 'in here' as they could, and now we're all used to it and just fight / bash / tradeskill / politick all day.
    EheneShirszae
  • AhmetAhmet Wherever I wanna beMember Posts: 3,132 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited November 2016
    Man I miss the old sylvan house requirements. Quaero path ftw.

    I'm honestly not sure if that's meant to be sarcastic or not. Mixed feelings.
    Huh. Neat.
    Blujixapug
  • ShaydeShayde Member Posts: 277 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    edited November 2016
    As a current house Librarian, I definitely feel your displeasure that libraries are not being used to their full extent especially after you've spent some time organizing it. There is a clan for librarians to make it easier to exchange books, but I liken it to pulling teeth to get a copy from another's collection. I also found a lack of enthusiasm in recording historical events than even a few years ago. The people that were interested in being Historians or scholars and put their time into it have since moved on with only a few replacements. All we can do as Librarians is keep recording and exchanging information for future players even if it is not a glamorous career. 

    Also, I like to point out that scrolls in houses are far more used than the libraries. So it is not that people are not reading or interested in knowledge, it is more that scrolls are far more convenient than finding a book and flipping through the pages.



    Ehene
  • EheneEhene Member Posts: 67 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    @Nazihk : I understand that you don't want to read about lore and whatnot, and that's perfectly fine; there are a large number of people who share your view in this, and I don't begrudge anyone their feelings. I would like to say, though, that not all Achaean literature is history and lore and academic guffawing. How do you feel about things like combat guides, hunting tips, "how to"s and other such literature?

    @Zahan : You have a good point about the CHELP files. However, there are still plenty of reasons to use the library rather than a help index. Too many files in the index make it difficult to navigate, and not everything that might go in a library would be feasible to put in a help index. Still, I like the library-index relationship, and we've even used it by putting old, now-irrelevant CHELP files into the library for reference.

    @Jurixe : You have a lot of good points. Writing does take a helluva long time, especially if you want it to be good. It often takes years IRL to author literature, so I don't see why it wouldn't take IG years to do the same. I don't know - there's something I'm grasping at, but I can't figure it out. Maybe Culture ministries could take the library in under their wing as a new resource. It could be a potentially symbiotic relationship.

  • EheneEhene Member Posts: 67 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Shayde said:

    Also, I like to point out that scrolls in houses are far more used than the libraries.
    This is true! House scrolls are easier to create and share than books in a library, and I definitely think that really important information should be easily accessed. However, what about lectures, demonstrations, or other performances put on by members of the House? Many such performances are very informative and can be very helpful, especially to newer members trying to figure out how everything works. Do you think these could be transcribed and placed into the House library catalogue?

    My biggest issue is how to get more people interested in at least using the library, even if not for reading.

  • NazihkNazihk Member Posts: 589 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    edited November 2016
    Ehene said:
    @Nazihk : How do you feel about things like combat guides, hunting tips, "how to"s and other such literature?
    I feel like most of this stuff is better suited to orghelps. Some of it, like hunting guides, is simply for convenience reasons. Who wants to walk back to the library to look at suggested hunting areas and the like? Some of it, like combat guides, inherently involve so much OOC information that I don't think they are suited to an IC library.

    And a lot of it is because of ease of updating. Things like hunting guides and whatnot can easily be updated in an orghelp file and everybody will have the updated version. Books are harder to do that with. If I copy your hunting guide for a convenient reference and then you change it, I'll still have the old version. Libraries just aren't practical for things like that, really.
    Ehene
  • SkyeSkye The Duchess BellatereMember, Seafaring Liason Posts: 2,497 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I think one of the minor things that currently deters people from working on libraries is the lack of functionality. It works fine right now, but for anyone who tinkers with it long enough, I think they feel there could be room for improvements.

    There's quite a few ideas that have been put forth for improvements to the editor/library system. Some of them great others, not so great. Being someone who regularly updates a journal (aka my menu), I'm sometimes a little put off by how clunky the editor can be for making additions or copies. 


    http://forums.achaea.com/discussion/comment/291928/#Comment_291928
    http://forums.achaea.com/discussion/comment/292059/
    http://forums.achaea.com/discussion/comment/265739/


    ShaydeEhene
  • SynbiosSynbios Member Posts: 4,379 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Skye said:
    I think one of the minor things that currently deters people from working on libraries is the lack of functionality. It works fine right now, but for anyone who tinkers with it long enough, I think they feel there could be room for improvements.

    There's quite a few ideas that have been put forth for improvements to the editor/library system. Some of them great others, not so great. Being someone who regularly updates a journal (aka my menu), I'm sometimes a little put off by how clunky the editor can be for making additions or copies. 


    http://forums.achaea.com/discussion/comment/291928/#Comment_291928
    http://forums.achaea.com/discussion/comment/292059/
    http://forums.achaea.com/discussion/comment/265739/

    Not to sound harsh against libraries, but to add to Skye's concerns: For checking important information, you have to compare doing this:

    -walk to house/city library
    -look for bookshelf
    -look up book, remember book id
    -checkout book id
    -read book page x
    -probably copy info to your journal
    -checkin book id

    to this:

    HHELP <relevant file>


    MelodieHalosEhene
  • MelodieMelodie MhaldorMember Posts: 4,462 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Maybe some people enjoy that thrill of the hunt sort of search, but I always dread having to skim through several large libraries to try and find a particular book or series of historical events or whatever else.
    "You have had an extraordinary adventure, my dear. Extraordinary! One that few people could ever imagine. Treasure it. Keep it safe and secure, tucked away in some special place in your heart. 

    But... don't spend the rest of your days chasing a ghost."
    EheneSynbios
  • AnariaAnaria Member Posts: 178 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    I absolutely share the attitude that if I am given an assignment to go research some random thing that I don't care about, I will regard it as busy-work and be resentful. I can remember being sent to libraries early in my Achaea career to write essays on subjects that are no longer even relevant post-Renaissance. It was tedious!

    That being said, I think libraries are one of the best things about Achaea. I find them extremely fun when I'm researching a subject I DO care about. Just don't make them an arbitrary assignment for a rank because you can't think up anything better. I had to do enough book reports in school thank you very much.
    EheneNazihkHalosShirszae
  • AnzariAnzari Member Posts: 5
    Resources to locate information on all kinds of stuff such as the ruins of Shallam, the Tsol'aa village's birth (there is an event witnessed from a specific tree in the Aalen forest) are very hard to find. There are not very many places throughout Achaea where an adventurer can stumble upon to unearth some piece of long-lost information about an ancient race or the likes. The Mythos was and probably still is the only source of information you can find online, but there is nothing close to that IG.

    I think if we had the ability to copy entire books for a nominal fee will help lessen the workload on the librarians expanding their libraries so everyone else can appreciate the books they find. I go to the copy service in Thera with a book I like alot and want to add to my personal library. The copy service won't let me copy a book period. If it wasn't sealed and/or locked, it can't be copied. Why would I want to spend a couple of RL hours copying by hand page by page into a journal when I have the gold to afford a copy? If I have to pay 10k. .20k to copy a locked/sealed book, I will do that for the convenience.

    But really, it's all about the resources being hard to find to write from. Many older adventurers (those over 400 or 500 years who have witnessed major events in the early years of Achaea) no longer wake up among us younger generations to share their stories with us. Those kind of resources are much harder to find these days.

    I wouldn't mind doing a task that requires a book to read, but I understand everyone else's feelings about the libraries. Being forced to read 30 pages and then do a 3 page report (written or oral) is one thing. Not everyone is into libraries, but for those of us who do, we do find things to read that we like.

    Please correct me if I am wrong. Wasn't there a big library off the mainland that people can go to and find a wealth of information on anything they want to see? When I do find small or odd libraries (like the one in the Darkenwood forest), oftentimes there isn't anything in there to check out.
  • ShaydeShayde Member Posts: 277 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    edited November 2016
    I suppose this is a good time to plug the clan Archivists of Achaea for those that are interested in the support of libraries and lore. Madelyne is the head of the clan as of now.

    It is also another way of finding the librarians of each city and house, but it may be a touch outdated.



  • AnzariAnzari Member Posts: 5
    Didn't Jurixe have something similar awhile back when she was working with other people to build a clan/library where everyone, regardless of their city, house, order and alignment, share information and work on book projects?

    I will check that clan out. Are you a part of it to be able to induct interested individuals into it?
  • ShaydeShayde Member Posts: 277 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    edited November 2016
    I believe you are talking about the Asterian Restoration in Meropis. :)

    The main land public library is called the Lucretian Athenaeum in New Thera.

    Edit: I can also induct, it has been awhile for me but try shooting Madelyne a message first.



  • JurixeJurixe Where you least expect itMember Posts: 1,551 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Anzari said:
    Didn't Jurixe have something similar awhile back when she was working with other people to build a clan/library where everyone, regardless of their city, house, order and alignment, share information and work on book projects?

    I will check that clan out. Are you a part of it to be able to induct interested individuals into it?
    I haven't been in realms much recently, but @Shayde is right, it is indeed the Asterian Restoration - the library itself is the Asterian Athenaeum. It has been more difficult to source good books than you would think, though, either because there aren't any on the subject we want or because the writer doesn't wish to have his or her work copied into another library. I could do it by hand, but it's extremely time consuming and doesn't credit the original author, so we try to avoid it.

    In general, the literary-based projects we try to do have not had great success (see: the worldwide newspaper we tried to do), partly because we didn't have the time to push strongly for participation, but that might also have been indicative of the general feelings about literary projects as a whole. People who like tackling these projects are few, and those that do generally have so much other pressing stuff to work on that writing projects just fall by the wayside because of how time consuming they are.

    @Ellodin and I are the only two active - and I use that word loosely for myself - remaining founders of the AR. You're welcome to hit us up if you'd like to do something with us, especially on this front!

    ShaydeYselaKorben
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