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Friday, April 09, 2010

The Future of Libraries

With National Library Week (April 11-17) just around the corner, it seems appropriate that a recent Mental Floss blogger asked "What Does the Future Hold for Libraries?" (April 5, 2010). One of blogger Ransom Riggs’ basic questions was: when budgets are scarce should libraries be buying computers or books? He was curious how often people go to libraries and how they use them. “I’ll always choose books over computers, because computers become obsolete, and books do not,” he writes. “A well-bound hardback can last a hundred years or more. How long will a computer last?”

Apparently the 65-plus individuals who posted comments agree. Here’s a sampling:

“I read fast and I hate clutter, so the library is perfect for me. I check out a pile of books a few times a month. I don’t have to pay for them (except through my property taxes), and when I’ve read them, I don’t have to store them. I LOVE the library.”

“My kids and I went to the library Friday, actually. We go to look for/check out books. For me, one of the great joys and advantages of a library is shelf-reading. I’ll look up a book I’ve heard about, go to that section of the library, and read the titles of other books in that section. When something catches my eye, I check it out.”

“The library here is still very popular. This area is slowly recovering but still has a lot of unemployment. I have talked to a lot of people who still take their kids there as it is a fun trip, they get to take something home, and the parents can afford it. Free is good.”

NEXT: Five Things You Don’t Know About Your Public Library.

Image courtesy of the American Library Association.

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