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 The library as a brick and mortar institution is obsolete, a relic of a time that has long since passed.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?