Lou Altman is an Employment Specialist with Gateway Community Industries, Inc., a nonprofit human services agency in Ulster County, New York. A licensed attorney, Louis volunteers teaching poetry at Gateway and is currently a student in the Master’s Rehabilitation Counseling program (distance learning) at SUNY-Buffalo.
In Ray Bradbury’s landmark 1953 dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451, outlaws commit books to memory while firemen burn their brittle pages out of existence. Bradbury wrote in his cautionary tale that “we need to be really bothered once in a while” and the book industry has been really bothered over the last twenty years. E-tailers, led by Amazon, have exploded and restructured the bookselling industry. Conventional wisdom is that the goliath Amazon, the dominant and diversified Internet retailer of everything from books to 7-string zithers has, with unbeatable pricing and almost infinite selection, crushed all brick-and-mortar booksellers in its path. National chain Borders closed in 2011 and Barnes & Noble sales and profits have been on an unabridged decline for years.
A leading trade union group in Germany, among others, has accused some state-run museums of sidestepping new minimum wage standards by classifying some jobs geared for young workers as apprenticeships and volunteer positions.