As a librarian, I am sometimes asked why we still have public libraries. Those who ask the question assume the Internet has made libraries obsolete, and besides, they believe no one goes to them anymore anyway. After resting the urge to slap them, I quickly set about correcting the error of their ways and share why libraries matter as much today as at anytime in their history.
In a new article I set out to dispel the myths and shed light on the role of the modern library. For example, in the except below I discuss how libraries are vital to our educational system:
“So how does a public library contribute to a strong community? Primarily, public libraries are one of the three pillars of education in our society. Alongside schools and colleges, libraries provide educational opportunities for residents and compliment the curriculum of the other two institutions. However, public libraries have a key difference from schools and colleges, in that they are open to all. Whereas children age out of the school system and colleges may only be a 2-6-year long experience, public libraries provide services from cradle to grave. They are also one of the few places in our society that embrace the democratic principles of openness and equality. No one is turned away from the public library and its resources are typically free to its residents. Income and background are irrelevant to obtaining a library card.”