Libraries survive while bookstores close

bookstoresvsolibrariesThis NY Times article makes me think about the long discussion of libraries vs. bookstores. Many of us remember the debates in library school about how bookstores were going to replace libraries. Libraries had to be able to compete with bookstores.

When Borders in Downtown Chicago closed and the Chicago Public Libraries stayed open with reduced hours I knew who would survive. In the end no matter what hardships people endure the library is always there.

As libraries continue to thrive with limited resources and budget cuts we need the support of our patrons. Financial support, donations and advocacy, just to name a few contribute to the longevity of our libraries.

Image from: freewalls.org

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4 responses to “Libraries survive while bookstores close

  1. The problem is many libraries are throwing out the books and replacing them with computers.

    • I work at a community college library and the demand for computers is overwhelming. Many students can not afford computers, and rely on the school computers to complete their work. Students are using more scholarly articles and current research versus books. The newer books are used, but never returned. The budget cuts make it hard to fill our collection with new books, but it is easy to get IT to agree to put in more computers which make it easy for the students to access the electronic databases.

      • thepiedpiffler

        It doesn’t please me at all, but the future is digital…

        And it’s all because parents were too myopic to see the dangers of digitizing Junior’s childhood. Students have become dependent on their electronics. They cannot bear to read an entire book to learn about Napoleon when a Wikipedia article can give all the homework-relevant information without all the fuss. Similarly, students pass over written works of popular science in favor of some mediocre documentary, which give very little information but plenty of sensational soundtracks and visual effects. Consumerism has hastened our descent into ignorance.

        And by the way thanks for following my blog. I will soon make a post that will expand on the ideas that were introduced in the comments here. I have already made a post concerning documentaries and the imagination.

      • It is difficult to get students to read a book because they do not know how to use it. I explain non-fiction books have a table of contents and a back of the book index, but it is often a wasted speech. Then some students only want books, but do not realize current news is found in newspapers. I will continue to try to teach them how to use these resources, and hopefully I can reach most of them if not all.

        I will check out your post!

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