Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Will Public Libraries Ever Just Disappear?

Many blogs have a Top Tags Cloud—a widget that gathers the keywords the blogger’s given to posts and displays them—larger words for more posts, smaller for fewer—often, hovering your cursor over them shows the number… 


Image Courtesy of Holger Dieterich ~

This blog has a Top Tags widget, further down on the left side-bar—condensing over 1,100 posts into clickable topics; and, “Library” has 36 posts (including this one)

I’m sure there are folks who have never been to a public library; and, some who remember when all there was were libraries and bookstores

I’ve been collecting links to articles about these places defined as, “A large organized collection of books for reading or reference, for use by the public or by a specific group…”

I have a small library, right next to my laptop desk, about 100 books, “haphazardly organized”

I have a tablet with over 200 books (organized however I choose…).

I suppose you could think of Amazon as a “library” since you can avail yourself of their Lending Program.

But, what about those places you can actually walk into, spaces dedicated to print books, thousands of them, meticulously organized on shelves—books you can take home for awhile

Think they’ll disappear?

I found an article in the Daily Chronicle called Why We Still Need Public Libraries.

It describes a movement back to public libraries and it’s worth reading in its entirety; but, this bit stood out for me:

“…we still need what urbanologists call ‘third places’ – that is, public spaces other than work and home. Public libraries are third places, along with cafes and old-fashioned bookstores.”

Also, The Boston Globe has the article, Life without Libraries Would Be Unimaginably Poorer—another worthy read—with these ideas:

“The ability to browse goes to the essence of the library experience, along with the egalitarian access that puts books in plain sight of all comers.”

“Clicking links on an electronic device is efficient, but it can’t replace the tactile engagement of wandering the stacks, pulling a book from the shelf, reading the dust jacket, flipping through its pages.”

And, if you’re one of the people who doesn’t mind thousands of e-books tucked into the spaces housing thousands of print books, you’ll be glad to know about the article in Publishing PerspectivesW.W. Norton Offers Entire Ebook Catalog to Lending Libraries.

Also, if you like the words, Magical and Majestic, you should follow these two links:

19 Totally Magical Libraries To Visit Before You Die

25+ Of The Most Majestic Libraries In The World

Do you love public libraries?

Do you still visit them?

Do you wish there was one close to you?

Are you a librarian?

Do you know a librarian?

Do you think more public funds should be invested in libraries?

Do you have warm memories of your local public library?

Feel like answering some of those questions in the Comments…?
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4 responses to “Will Public Libraries Ever Just Disappear?

  1. Nicole July 7, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    I’m not a librarian and I don’t have a public library card anymore, but I used to before I moved to where I live now, and I went once or twice a week, religiously. Back then, I didn’t have as much money to go and buy my books, so checking them out was kind of exciting, still.
    I hope public libraries never ever close because I think as people, sometimes we get a little bit spoiled with all the devices and internet access and forget that so many kids and adults alike don’t ‘do’ technology. They don’t have (believe it or not) eReading devices (phones, tablets or so on), and going to the public library still is a very big deal to them.
    I have a teenage cousin, in fact, who goes to do her school work on the library’s computers because they don’t have any at home. And also, quite a few of my family members don’t even have the internet and can’t get it out in the sticks where they live. I know, it’s hard to believe, but it’s true. My grandparents? Dial-up. I kid you not.
    Also, the public library in my old town had a book club and kids summer reading programs, and a writers group meeting–all completely free to the public, which is again, kind of a big deal when extra $$ for entertainment and that sort of thing is sort of unheard of.
    I guess, although I took the long way around, I just wanted to say that I think public libraries and mom & pop book stores are very important to lots of people, even still, and I hope they don’t die out. (haha)
    Also, I think we know I’m a paper junkie, so I’ll never ever stop reading stinky old paper books, unless, God forbid, my goggles stop working. ^_^

    Great post! Keep up the good work, Alex.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alexander M Zoltai July 7, 2015 at 10:25 pm

      Thanks for the compliment, Nicole :-)

      I’m nerdy enough to love my e-books; but, still with you about “stinky old paper books”…

      And, yes, there are so many people who absolutely Need public libraries and all the services they provide…

      Thank you for such a perceptive comment.


  2. juliecround July 8, 2015 at 5:09 am

    I use my local mobile library for almost all my reading. I rarely buy a book.( Hiss! Boo!) The main library has computers and meetings that I find useful but it is a bus ride away. I do buy books for the grandchildren and the little one uses it as a social centre.She is two years old and an avid book consumer.


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