Thursday, July 1, 2010

Are Libraries Necessary?

Jule Siegel posted a link on the Book Arts List to this article on the Fox Chicago website:

I thought I'd share some of my comments:

I think all of us lovers of books and libraries need to speak up. Libraries, to me, are the most democratic institutions we have in this country and their existence is essential. In contrast to the Fox news article, a recent story in our local paper was about how community support stopped the Mayor from making major cuts to the library budget.

I am very interested in the digital/book debate and hope that the future holds the coexistence of books and digital media. I think the western mind has a hard time accepting duality and both instead of either/or. Our idea of progress seems to be ditch the old and embrace the new. I am hoping that maybe this time we can do keep both. There is information that is perfect to get in digital form. There is nothing like curling up with a book that you hold in your hand.


Book Collector said...

I completely agree with you! Reading a good book at night is something special, just like reading a great book with a hot cup of tea during a gloomy day.
Printed books offers something that a kindle or a any other electronic book cannot. But something has to be done to limit the amount of books that are constantly being printed without any buyers, these simply run down the rainforests and end up in the trash; worst of all, new books don't use recycled paper. Maybe that's something that should be done, printing books out with recycled paper... I sure wouldn't mind!

P-A-McGoldrick said...

Public libraries have been a strong-hold in North American communities for over a century.
Much thanks goes to American Andrew Carnegie whose financial generosity extended dollar assistance to towns, villages, cities in return for providing a free library service.
Today, the Public Library is an equalizer, perhaps, more than ever. In the past, I, personally, benefited from public libraries. As a child, living in a rural area, books were scarce as they were expensive. This hardship was alleviated by frequent visits to the local free public library.
Today, in our urban community, the Kitchener Public Library provides up-to-date print resources for all ages. It also provides sound, visual, large-print and digital resources and access. In this electronic age, there is still a need for free public access. Not everyone has a computer with all the related expenses for upkeep and access.
The Public Library plays a huge role in serving the community--everyone in the community. May it continue.

Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord said...

An excellent rebuttal from Mary A. Dempsey, Director of the Chicago Public Library can be found here: