Are Libraries Dead?

Are Libraries Dead?

by the Reader’s Carnival Team

image by daRoz

The noble library has been around since 2600 BCE, the most famous being the Library of Alexandria. These institutions collected, archived and shared the world’s knowledge. But are they still relevant?

The Library is Dead!

Technology has changed. Clay tablets were replaced with papyrus scrolls then hand bound books. The advent of the printing press revolutionized the way works were created and shared. All through this, the library has stood at the center of it all, the testament of the heart and soul driving humankind’s accomplishments.

Then came the Internet.

No longer do books have to be a physical thing to touch and hold. Words can be compressed and shared across the globe and beyond at the speed of thought. The library as a brick and mortar institution is obsolete, a relic of a time that has long since passed.

More and more, the classic great works are becoming digitized and shared freely through Project Gutenberg and similar endeavours. Encyclopaedias are no longer being printed. Nearly all new writing has its first home as a digital artifact.

Libraries are vestigial. Libraries are dead.

Long Live the Library!

Libraries are still going strong and are a great resource, not only for books, but for community programs.  They provide a wonderful space to bring your children to for storytime and socialising.  In fact, it’s a fantastic way to disconnect from the technology driven world we live in today.  The perfect way to unplug and go back to the basics for a little while.

There is something about being surrounded by thousands of books.  A feeling, a sense of pride, that makes the trip worth it.  To stand back and look at what mankind has accomplished and to sort of step into history.  Libraries provide a tangible environment and that is something that is becoming less and less a part of our society.  You can go to the library, touch the books, pick them up, flip them over and read what’s on the back.  You can grab a coffee, converse with the librarian and then use the space to be inspired.

Beyond all of that, there is also Internet access and quite study space for people who may not otherwise be able to afford such luxuries.  It provides equality and allows everyone the opportunity to obtain  knowledge free of charge.  In this increasingly expensive and technological driven world, libraries provide are an invaluable resource for both people who may be looking to reach out and those whose funds are limited.

Libraries are an integral part of society.  Libraries are crucial to fair living.

What do you think? Is there room for libraries in a modern world?

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7 Comments for “Are Libraries Dead?”

Lisa Doesburg

says:

This saddens me. My beloved grandmother, still alive at 96, was a librarian. She taught me to read at the tender age of four. My favorite day of the week was Sat, when I could spend the WHOLE DAY in the library with her. She taught to me to love books, as we mended old bindings with hot glue together in the little room off of the childrens department. I used to love stamping out peoples books for them as I stood on my little stool like a big shot. The smell of books, the feel, its was all such a wonderful part of my childhood that I will never forget. Every week I would take out 7 books. A book a day.
I have never used a digital reader. I prefer to hold a book in my hands…So long live libraries!

says:

Libraries are indeed live and well, and are evolving all the time. The fact is also that there is more than the public library. corporations have them, law firms have them, universities have them. Not everyone has access to an ereader or tablet, and people still read dead tree versions. The library isn’t going anywhere, even though its appearance may change.

Joey Wargachuk

says:

Libraries are very much the beating heat of modern civilization! If it wasn’t for my local Library growing up I wouldn’t be a storyteller today!

SM Davis

says:

My local library is always hopping, fuller on any given night than several local restaurants. I get 95% of the books that I read from the library. I’ve memorized my library barcode number. No, I don’t think libraries are dead, not only are they a source of tangible books, but in many instances they are the only free source of computers and internet access. Libraries may change, but I don’t see them going anywhere in the near future.

says:

Some of the libraries in my city smell dead, but I’m happy to say there are more than a dozen reaching out to readers and writers. They are true hubs for literary. On a side note, if I you had to pick between having a library or a book store which one would you pick? I’m torn. I want both, but there’s only one book store still in town. I’ll miss it when it’s gone.

CAROL MOORE

says:

I love the Library especially if you don’t have the internet or can’t afford to buy the newest books by your favorite author. You can just borrow them and games for the kids to play .

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