Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Are libraries still useful or necessary?

NPR ran a story today that made my heart skip a beat: Do We Really Need Libraries?

Yes, yes, yes, of course we do!

If anything, I think, over the years libraries have evolved to fill more needs in the communities they serve.

Libraries don't just lend books anymore, or provide a quiet space for people to work, although of course they do still do that (and I think those services are still used and appreciated).  Libraries also now provide free wifi and access to computers to those who might not have those things otherwise.  They lend technology such as e-readers, and allow you to check out ebooks, and use their online services to read and conduct research using electronic materials.  They offer services to encourage kids to read more, such as story time at the library, reading challenges over the summer, and various other events.  Some libraries, such as the ones in my area, even offer things like zoo and museum passes that can be checked out.

The services I am most likely to take advantage of is the borrowing of ebooks, but I also use the physical libraries for wifi and research from time to time.  What about you?  What services do the libraries in your area offer?  What services do you utilize most frequently?

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