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Many hours were spent in the libraries on the four ships that were dismissed from the HAL fleet. Although there no longer were librarians, most of the books got shelved and sorted (I spent many hours before 6 a.m. doing that on Amsterdam last year). What happened to all those books? Did they stay with the ships (sold "as-is"), even though they all had Holland America Lines stamped on them? And what about all the books that were in the book exchanges?

We were on Eurodam right after dry dock 'fixed' the Crow's nest. I was told by two employees that book exchanges were being discontinued, as HAL didn't want to get into being a library. The put lots of pretty 'coffee table-type' books up there and hoped that passengers would appreciate how pretty they were. I saw one woman turn the pages and then put it back.

The newer ships don't have "library" space. What happened to all the books?

Jim

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There were some wonderful books about Alaska in the EXC library on the Maasdam in 2019.  I think the books were chosen specifically for the in-depth itinerary.  They also had the “book club” selections which could be checked out at the front desk but did not relate to the itinerary for some reason!  Actually the Maasdam was probably one of the last ships with a full library and no librarian.  Like you, I have been known to “tidy the library”.  I miss the libraries and I miss the librarian who could answer most questions or tell you where to get the answer to your question.

 

With future sanitation issues I expect even coffee table books will be discontinued along with magazines and the book exchange.  

 

Where did the books go?  Hopefully to a non-profit book sale.

 

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On my most recent HAL cruises--Zaandam, Volendam, Eurodam--books that had been left by previous cruisers were visible on the shelves of what had been the library.  I have left some as well.

 

What was an encouraging sign to me was what I observed in the Concierge Lounge of the Fort Lauderdale Marriott North Hotel.  A small collection of books were being left by previous guests.  I "rushed" through the book that I was reading (requiring a visit to the nearest Barnes & Noble to replace that book which I had expected to take on my cruise) so that I could add to that small collection.  Some want to say that the days of the "hard copies" of books, magazines, etc. are over.  May I remind them? Once was once seemed to be "old" can become "new" once again.  

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A lot of HAL library books were stolen through the years, if previous threads are to be believed. Libraries provided my major entertainment onboard back in the day. It was a challenge; however, to find an interesting book after all the better books were stolen. 

 

I now prefer to read on my Kindle. I can hold a whole library full of books in my hand, I can read in any light, love the built in dictionary, new books are available from my local library, scads of out of copyright books are available for free from gutenberg.org , and there are no old book allergens. If I could only find a quiet place onboard to read!

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It seems like the younger generation, those who grew up with the internet and high-speed everything, need more entertaining. Perhaps reading for entertainment isn't a thing for those 40 and younger, our future HAL loyalists.

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20 hours ago, JimnKaren said:

Many hours were spent in the libraries on the four ships that were dismissed from the HAL fleet. Although there no longer were librarians, most of the books got shelved and sorted (I spent many hours before 6 a.m. doing that on Amsterdam last year). What happened to all those books? Did they stay with the ships (sold "as-is"), even though they all had Holland America Lines stamped on them? And what about all the books that were in the book exchanges?

 

 

Possibly yes, they did stay with the ships. I remember reading that the ships were sold "as is" with exception of a few special pieces of historic or artistic value to HAL.

 

Apparently Fred. Olsen ships do have libraries per their website, so perhaps on Rotterdam and Amsterdam some or all of the books will be recycled.

 

DO YOU HAVE A LIBRARY ON BOARD?
We understand the value of a good holiday read, and have a well-appointed library on board each ship offering a wide variety of books, including travel books, fiction stories, novels and autobiographies.

There is also a selection of traditional board games and puzzles for use throughout your cruise.

 

From:   https://www.fredolsencruises.com/faqs/on-board/do-you-have-a-library-on-board

 

3 hours ago, fyree39 said:

It seems like the younger generation, those who grew up with the internet and high-speed everything, need more entertaining. Perhaps reading for entertainment isn't a thing for those 40 and younger, our future HAL loyalists.

 

I read voraciously and my 20-something son reads quite a bit as well when time permits. We just don't tend to read hard copy. I much prefer to bring my own curated library with me wherever I go.

 

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Well, I've been known to check out a book from the ship's library even though I've  got my Kindle in my cabin.  There's so much literature out there and the ship's library seems to have a lot that I would have never looked at until I saw it in hard-copy.

I, too, miss the old ship's libraries with their hundreds of books on just about any topic and genre.

 

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About 15 years ago, when our children were teenagers, we decided to give Carnival a try on a 7 day cruise.

After two days I finally found the library on a high deck, forward.  It was a small room, but there were newspapers and magazines on tables and what appeared to be a 20 foot book case filled with books from floor to ceiling.  As I stepped to the wall to select a book or two, I could see that it was merely a wall of wallpaper.......no shelves, no books.  Disappointing!  I miss the HAL libraries;  they were the best.

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10 hours ago, whogo said:

A lot of HAL library books were stolen through the years, if previous threads are to be believed.

 

That may well be true.  I have left books on some HAL ships on which I then sailed again.  Never have I found any of the books that I left.  

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1 minute ago, rkacruiser said:

 

That may well be true.  I have left books on some HAL ships on which I then sailed again.  Never have I found any of the books that I left.  

 

But those books were not HAL’s, right?  They were for exchange and people to take and leave another book?

I don’t think you can compare HAL’s library to books we guests choose to leave on board.  JMO

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7 minutes ago, kazu said:

 

But those books were not HAL’s, right?  They were for exchange and people to take and leave another book?

I don’t think you can compare HAL’s library to books we guests choose to leave on board.  JMO

 

Is there a difference?  Yes.  Do I know  that a book was left to replace mine?  No.

 

Particularly in recent years, I have left a book for the purpose of trying to help to restore a library of some form on HAL ships.  If the books that I have left "sprouted legs" and left the ship, perhaps it was due to an a guest(s) who was uninformed about the "library issue" on HAL ships in recent years.  If so, I forgive.  If a guest who was aware of the "library issue" that has developed on HAL ships took a book and did not replace it with one of their own, I don't forgive.  What that guest(s) did helped to defeat the purpose for which I left that book.  

 

 

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10 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Is there a difference?  Yes.  Do I know  that a book was left to replace mine?  No.

 

Particularly in recent years, I have left a book for the purpose of trying to help to restore a library of some form on HAL ships.  If the books that I have left "sprouted legs" and left the ship, perhaps it was due to an a guest(s) who was uninformed about the "library issue" on HAL ships in recent years.  If so, I forgive.  If a guest who was aware of the "library issue" that has developed on HAL ships took a book and did not replace it with one of their own, I don't forgive.  What that guest(s) did helped to defeat the purpose for which I left that book.  

 

 

 

Forgive me if I wasn’t clear, but when you leave a book, it is for the exchange.

 

Unless HAL does their “library stamp” on it, it went in the exchange section.

I used the exchange a few times and never expected to see my book in the “library”.  The exchange is clearly marked.

Personally, I don’t believe that many books were stolen as claimed and HAL could have easily charged anyone who did.

Case in point and kind of funny.  I was talking to someone who got charged $25 for taking a book (their names are not revealed to protect the innocent).  The wife said we never took a book and asked her DH.  Turns out he took the orange book we find in the cabins thinking it was complimentary.  LOL.  

If HAL had kept the librarian IF the book thefts are true, that would have been controlled as then check out would not have been on the honour system.  I signed for any I took and I saw a lot doing so and I saw a lot returning them.  In pre-librarian days, if you still had a book, you would be called on the last day reminding you to be return it or you would be charged.

I truly suspect the claims of stolen books.  Granted some might have forgotten but seriously, how many want added weight in their luggage?

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34 minutes ago, kazu said:

I used the exchange a few times and never expected to see my book in the “library”.  The exchange is clearly marked.

 

Clearly marked?  Yes.  Did I expect my "gifted" book to remain sailing when I was not?  Yes.  

 

But, this isn't the first time when my expectations were unfulfilled.  

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38 minutes ago, kazu said:



Personally, I don’t believe that many books were stolen as claimed and HAL could have easily charged anyone who did.

Case in point and kind of funny.  I was talking to someone who got charged $25 for taking a book (their names are not revealed to protect the innocent).  The wife said we never took a book and asked her DH.  Turns out he took the orange book we find in the cabins thinking it was complimentary.  LOL.  

If HAL had kept the librarian IF the book thefts are true, that would have been controlled as then check out would not have been on the honour system.  I signed for any I took and I saw a lot doing so and I saw a lot returning them.  In pre-librarian days, if you still had a book, you would be called on the last day reminding you to be return it or you would be charged.

I truly suspect the claims of stolen books.  Granted some might have forgotten but seriously, how many want added weight in their luggage?

 

I share your thoughts.  When a Librarian was present, the threat of a charge to one's account for a book not returned ought to be sufficient.  My bet is that such was done!

 

I think we both recall the coffee table books sometimes available in our staterooms that were labeled in such a way that they were not "free".  

 

The reason that HAL has given for the demise of the libraries being due to the theft of books has never made good sense to me.  It's an excuse.  But, for what reason?  That is what has puzzled me.  

 

The current execution of the EXC concept in the Crow's Nest that has that venue allows for plenty of room for a better assortment of books than the Company offers.  The fact that cruisers have found shelf space to leave books shows that there is shelf space available.  

 

Is there some other factor at work here in this decision?  

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I do read E books, but prefer hard copies. Over the years, I have left many books in ship’s libraries, even going so far as to bring along with me books I have read, but want to pass along!

I love recycling books and unfortunately that has become a hard thing to do. My local library no longer accepts donations, and my thrift shops are filled to capacity.
I would not be at all unhappy if someone “stole” one of my ship donations! 
What I think happens to the books which now have no home,  is that they are sold for scrap. 

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1 minute ago, trivia addict said:

What I think happens to the books which now have no home,  is that they are sold for scrap. 

 

I am sad to say that I think you are correct.  

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13 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

That may well be true.  I have left books on some HAL ships on which I then sailed again.  Never have I found any of the books that I left.  

I have left and taken books from the book exchange. When I finish a book and leave it, I hope someone else will take it and enjoy it. It is an exchange. I'm not talking about their library books, but about the ones left in the section specifically marked exchange.

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11 hours ago, trivia addict said:

I do read E books, but prefer hard copies. Over the years, I have left many books in ship’s libraries, even going so far as to bring along with me books I have read, but want to pass along!

I love recycling books and unfortunately that has become a hard thing to do. My local library no longer accepts donations, and my thrift shops are filled to capacity.
I would not be at all unhappy if someone “stole” one of my ship donations! 
What I think happens to the books which now have no home,  is that they are sold for scrap. 

Or sent to Davey Jones for his reading pleasure!

 

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I have always used the book exchange aboard HAL so I would certainly miss them on future cruises.  I do enjoy reading a good book while sitting on deck watching the sea slide by.  When HAL started cutting back on the libraries I started bringing 7 or 8 books along and would leave them in the exchange a book section when I finished them.  I usually found enough other books to keep me busy when I had finished those that I had brought.  On sea days I would usually read a couple of books each day, and I also prefer a real book, rather than an E-reader.   E-readers are fine for those who enjoy them, but I always liked leaving something for others to enjoy.

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I have loved & used both the Exchange and former Libraries in the Explorations Cafes. Nothing was more relaxing than facing the sea on one of those leather Eames chairs with footrests - accompanied by a latte and good book on a sea day.

 

Books & maps often help people take action to actually see places they’ve heard of or dreamed about for “someday”, don’t they? 
 

Sailing back to Florida after a wonderful Italy vacation, I began to read a good guidebook to Ireland, browsed those big Atlas books on the library tables, picked up some schedules from the future cruise consultant - and dreams took shape for an unforgettable eastbound crossing + Ireland “Roots”-finding trip the following year.

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I think if a book is left in an exchange it is meant to be shared.  I enjoy that several hotels now have them, the Rome airport Hilton  having often a good selection.  If I finish a book I prefer to leave it and not have the extra weight.   We have little libraries that also encourage this,  but if you don’t have one to leave that’s okay too.  I think it all will balance out.  

 

I too don’t believe the library theft line!  Most people are very conscientious about returning library books!   Who wants the extra weight?  I have at times not finished a book on-board,  I will then purchase it to finish it. 

 

I think it is something they could just cut to save money.  The rest is just excuses.   I find it interesting that Cunard maintains such a stunning library and their passenger fares are very similar to HAL.   One more loss of the traditional feel of HAL that I enjoyed. 

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Agree that HAL has dropped the ball with their libraries. If cost is an issue, cruise lines should visit thrift stores to restock for a library. I would love a job like that, I’d even move to Seattle and work for HAL... Oceania ships still have fabulous libraries, lovely books, cozy seats and a spot to ‘recycle’ your books. I wonder how/if that will change for the future?

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17 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

I share your thoughts.  When a Librarian was present, the threat of a charge to one's account for a book not returned ought to be sufficient.  My bet is that such was done!

 

I think we both recall the coffee table books sometimes available in our staterooms that were labeled in such a way that they were not "free".  

 

The reason that HAL has given for the demise of the libraries being due to the theft of books has never made good sense to me.  It's an excuse.  But, for what reason?  That is what has puzzled me.  

 

The current execution of the EXC concept in the Crow's Nest that has that venue allows for plenty of room for a better assortment of books than the Company offers.  The fact that cruisers have found shelf space to leave books shows that there is shelf space available.  

 

Is there some other factor at work here in this decision?  

I truly wonder what this factor is?  I think HAL’s place in the cruising world as traditional with exotic itineraries is one they are trying to distance from to a more modern vibe and cheaper.  

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19 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Clearly marked?  Yes.  Did I expect my "gifted" book to remain sailing when I was not?  Yes.  

 

But, this isn't the first time when my expectations were unfulfilled.  


I guess I am among the guilty.   I always take a small number of books from home to start me out, and leave them behind when I debark.  While I try to finish and return ship exchange books before I go, there have been times I’ve taken a book in progress with me to finish on the plane or at home, though never one stamped as ships property. That’s the only book that leaves the ship with me. Next time I cruise, I take it with me and put it in the next ships library along with a couple of extras. There is a chance your book is now sailing on a different ship.

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