LIS Trends

Will Public Libraries Become Extinct?

with 4 comments

This is an issue that seems to come up again and again in regards to libraries, particularly public libraries, and it’s a great place to start our group blog. To quote Richard E. Rubin, “Libraries are not important; they are essential.” (Hancock, page 3) Libraries are conduits of information, whether it be in book form or electronic. All of this information would be out there with no way to access it if it weren’t for libraries. With the start of the Boston Public Library, public libraries opened to serve citizens and grant them access to information for both knowledge and pleasure.

Libraries also work very hard to make sure books and information are available for all people. It’s easy for someone like Mr. Bodnick to say it’s easier to buy an e-book than to make a trip to the library. But what about people without e-readers and computers? Should they be unable to access the same books and information as others who are able to afford such luxuries? It’s a very close-minded view to have. Conquering this “digital divide” we have is another reason public libraries are so essential.

I love Ms. Friedman’s line in the above article, “Libraries will die, because they were killed by people who never used them.” The public doesn’t seem to realize the resources libraries can and do offer. This is a fight librarians must fight every day of their lives. “Advertising” on social media like Facebook and Twitter is essential for reaching out to a new generation of library users. Libraries offer classes and training when the government offices that used to run these programs are shut down. Without libraries, societies will not mature, they will become stagnant. Information will not be organized or accessible. We as a society cannot allow this to happen.


Written by elenamaddox

October 3, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. I have to admit that before I started working at the public library I’m at now, I had no idea that libraries did things besides lend books and story time. Even now most people still think of public libraries as places where they get free books. And even people going into job interviews love to say they want a job at the library because they love books. For hundreds of years libraries were about books. For a little over a century they were about reference and books. Suddenly, over the past 15 years, they’ve become about computers, technology, starting businesses, meeting people, and engaging with a community. In the future they’ll be the places people make information. But there are so many people who only think of the books. Libraries must let their patrons know about all of the other services they offer, and they need to get their patrons knowledgeable about how to use these services so that they can advance and go digital.

    Isidoro Alastra

    November 13, 2012 at 10:33 pm

  2. Agreed! Libraries are community centers now. I know our local library has had a decrease in circulation this past year but the number of in-person visits has increased.


    November 18, 2012 at 11:41 am

  3. Libraries have changed in a big way, but in the most essential and important way have stayed the same; they are still information hubs and places for learning and knowledge. It’s bonkers to think that libraries will be a thing of the past in five years as the digital divide is a very real issue that’s not going to be remedied that soon.

    Meg Anthony

    November 25, 2012 at 4:53 am

  4. We have, among many other things, entered an information age. It would be ridiculous to think that information hubs such as libraries could go extinct at a time like this. I agree with Isidoro, libraries have to advertise that they offer much more than books.

    Sarah Mahoney

    November 27, 2012 at 12:49 am

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