Tag Archives: Opinion

What the ‘death of the library’ means for the future of books

“Forbes contributor Tim Worstall wants us to close public libraries and buy everyone an Amazon Kindle with an unlimited subscription. “Why wouldn’t we simply junk the physical libraries and purchase an Amazon Kindle Unlimited subscription for the entire country?” he asks. Worstall points to substantial savings on public funds, arguing that people would have access to a much larger collection of books through a Kindle Unlimited subscription than they could get through any public library and that the government would spend far less on a bulk subscription for all residents than it ever would on funding libraries. Is he right? Are libraries obsolete? He might be correct — but only if libraries were just about books, which they are not. Libraries are actually an invaluable public and social resource that provide so much more than simple shelves of books (or, for those in rural areas, a Bookmobile like the one this author grew up with). A world without public libraries is a grim one indeed, and the assault on public libraries should be viewed as alarming.” (via The Week)

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Responsible borrowing is part of library’s lesson

“Everyday life experiences can teach children lessons – even hard lessons. Unfortunately, the Free Library of Philadelphia is giving up an opportunity to teach its younger patrons a lesson about responsibility. Beginning July 1, the library plans to stop fining children who fail to return books on time. Well-meaning librarians in neighborhood branches recommended eliminating the fines to avoid cutting off poor youngsters seeking library services. Some believe the children are returning books late for reasons beyond their control.”(via Philadelphia Inquirer)

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Diane Cherry: Closing Cobb’s libraries a threat to public safety

Marietta Daily Journal – “Public safety begins with our teens who we can either educate and give opportunities to or deal with out on the streets. The same is true for the unemployed and homeless friends, neighbors and former co-workers who have touched every one of us. They need the libraries now more than they ever did. If we close libraries, we are shutting the doors on the people who need us most – a very real threat to public safety – as economic desperation often leads to crime and public unrest.”

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The Great Purge of Our Libraries

Quadrant Online – “When I was an undergraduate my tutor used to look through the lecture list to see what was worth attending. “Oh, no, he’s no good. Oh, no, you wouldn’t get much out of that. No, I don’t think you’d want to waste time there,” he would say, adding, “I think you’d best just go along to the library.” For years I felt that, awful as they have become, universities still provided a base for literature, history, knowledge. Continuities were transmitted. History was preserved. Even when the teaching faltered the library was there. The books provided their own record. And now they are being thrown out. The destruction of libraries currently under way marks a new era of thought control. It is a widespread phenomenon in the developed world, and Australia is dutifully conforming.”

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Why libraries still matter

Laura Miller – “Critics say they’re obsolete, but New York’s main branch is a reminder of what the Internet can never do.”

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