Friday, April 3, 2009

Library Love

From Booking Through Thursday:

I saw that National Library week is coming up in April, and that led
to some questions. How often do you use your public library and how do
you use it? Has the coffeehouse/bookstore replaced the library? Did you
go to the library as a child? Do you have any particular memories of
the library? Do you like sleek, modern, active libraries or the older,
darker, quiet, cozy libraries?

Our public library has actually just been completely remodeled. It is huge now, has a lot of computer terminals, and an art gallery. I am super-excited about it.

I love libraries. Free books??? Oh hell yeah. I seriously doubt that in the current economy (not to mention the fact that a lot of brick and mortar stores are closing now because of online sales and digital books) bookstores serve any threat whatsoever to libraries, especially as library collections become more digitized via Google Scholar. Libraries are really much more adaptable to the new technology because their purpose is to provide books and materials to the public in a simple, accessible, and free format. I think as bookstores start closing, libraries will take their place as meeting and hang-out places. Two of the public libraries in our public system already have full cafes, three have mini-coffee bars (basically a huge thermos of coffee or hot water), and even our university library has a coffee bar and bakery.

In a world of constantly shifting cultural touchstones, it's comforting to know that libraries are here for the duration.

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