Are Libraries Necessary? Are Libraries Necessary?
  Con- By JESSICA WEAVER As our generation becomes more technologically advanced, libraries have become a last resort for students on the hunt for... Are Libraries Necessary?

 

Photo Credit: KAYLA LOKEINSKY

Con- By JESSICA WEAVER

As our generation becomes more technologically advanced, libraries have become a last resort for students on the hunt for information. With only 80 public libraries in the state of Florida containing only 32,760,000 books in total, it’s no wonder people choose the Internet, which holds more than 2.1 billion websites containing infinite information. Filled with unlimited access to any book or information, computers are becoming modern-day libraries. As time progresses and more advancement’s in technology are made, libraries will be left further and further behind.

Before computers, people used libraries for leisure reading, to find information, and even to do research.  They would travel for miles just to reach a library, and once there they would have to shuffle through thousands of books in search of what they were looking for. If they were lucky the book would be in stock, if not they would have just wasted hours of their time. Compared to computers, which can look up and find books in a matter of seconds, libraries seem out of date. Why would someone want to go to a library when all they need and more can be found with just a few clicks?

With libraries, there are a limited amount of books you can access. Just because libraries say they have the book does not mean it’s on the shelf, you might find someone has checked out the only copy. Computers give people unlimited choices and endless access to any book. Although ordering a book from the Internet can take time as well as money, it’s a guarantee that you will find the book or research information that you are looking for.

Some of the information in libraries is outdated. Once a book is published and distributed to the public, it cannot be taken back to the publisher if the information is incorrect. The Internet allows publishers to go back and edit their pages in a matter of seconds. The sources you find on the internet are current and up-to-date, unlike some of the books in libraries.

Libraries are symbols of knowledge and facilitate the love of reading. They used to be the go-to place for those interested in exploring pages and pages of information. However, now as our era becomes more technologically advanced, we come to find that computers are more efficient, accessible, and as well as resourceful, than the ancient concept of a library.

 

 

Photo Credit: KAYLEE OBERFIELD

Pro- By JACK BRADY

Throughout human history, never has there existed an institution that has so preserved and expanded the collective knowledge of mankind as the library. Since the beginnings of civilization, libraries have served as academic thought’s mightiest stronghold and final refuge. Yet in our modern society, digital technology rules the day, utterly inescapable in every day-to-day aspect of our lives. When almost any text can be stored, displayed, and transported on a Smartphone or tablet, many question whether physical texts, or libraries themselves, even need to exist? In reality, our libraries are not forgotten reliquaries, but rather adaptive hybrids of technology and print media that continue to grow with the technology. With all of the challenges and struggles our nation now faces, we need libraries now more than ever before.

A tragic misconception among many is that libraries are old and obsolete. Rather, it is their very age and history that makes them worth protecting; many libraries have served communities for generations, and are irreplaceable facets of the places they inhabit. To lose them would be to permanently scar the culture of their residences forever.

Despite rampant theories of technology devouring libraries forever, a far greater volume of evidence reveals that this is anything but. More people are utilizing libraries than ever before. According to the Shepley-Bulfinch design firm, (which has designed libraries and research centers for Duke, Harvard, and Yale universities) usage of facilities the firm has designed has doubled or tripled in recent years. In this crippling economic recession, countless families lack the means to purchase the common print and tech commodities we take for granted and now depend solely upon public libraries.

Complete digitalization of all print text is the realm of the future to those who vouch for a world without libraries, yet such a scenario would wreak havoc on publishers, authors, and readers alike. The task of collecting, scanning, and storing all the books that exist in libraries would take decades, require massive funding, and demand of an unprecedented level of international cooperation. Publishers need to make a profit somehow for their services, yet this is nearly impossible when virtually any eBook can be copied, pasted or stored as a series of images and then shared. Even writers themselves will suffer when they are denied the intimacy and aesthetics of print, and they will be robbed of the identity of their work that only a book can possess. The burden for all of these complications will eventually be shouldered by the public; something that all sides can certainly agree benefits none.

Public libraries also teach vital life skills about gathering and analyzing information. In an era where the internet is nearly accessible by everyone, being able to adequately discern fact from fiction is a necessity to becoming an informed member of society.

As a whole we must realize that our society cannot move forward if it refuses to open its eyes to the reality of the now. The modern library is not a thing of the past, but rather a priceless location reflecting the nature of our world as it exists in this very moment.

 

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