To Have Libraries or Not to Have Libraries Essay

Open up any old book, there is a certain smell—“the finest pollen in the world”—and an experience that cannot be matched by anything else in the world (Novak). Today’s children do not experience this old joy known by many for centuries; they have video games, tablets, or computers taking all their interest. Some say libraries are no longer needed in a tech-suave world, but in reality libraries are still needed. Perhaps those who say libraries are no longer needed just simply do not want to pay the taxes they bring.

As a daughter of a former language arts teacher and relative of die-hard reading fanatics, my standpoint is that libraries are still needed for many reasons. Those against libraries may argue that printed books are not necessary when there are plenty of electronic books out there. They insist that with access to the Internet, no one needs to go out and buy or rent a book (Moran). “Do you know why books such as this are so important? Because they have quality. And what does the word quality mean? To me it means texture. This book has pores. It has features”(Bradbury).

Libraries cannot be replaced by technology simply because no matter what people say, there will always be those book lovers—book lovers like Ben Franklin helped make the first library in America (Singer). They would say: you can curl up with a book but not a metal object that lights up. Holding a book and hearing the swish of turning pages will just bring instantaneous joy. Libraries were the first places computers went; now, they’re going to over run the libraries (Moran). Because of the economy there are families that barely have enough money to buy dinner, let alone a computer.

If libraries disappear, where would they go to get books when they need them? Where could they get access to a computer? If libraries fade away, what will take their place? Where would all those books go? Where would librarians work? “The Library of Congress has almost 110 million collections in almost every language—532 miles of bookshelves. The collection went from original number of 6,487 books to now more than 16 million books” (Library). The Internet would most likely crash with that many collections. Since the beginning of the New World, parents have taught their children with books; the primary subject to learn was how to read (Foner).

In school students are taught about history. Libraries provide a place for the old books to back-up the information that they were told. With kids at age nine scrolling web pages; children are taught that computers are good, and that books and the world outside are bad (Moran). From personal experiences, I have learned that I learn better from reading paper than a lit screen. There are parents complaining that their children are not learning; perhaps, this is why. Educating the younger generations is dependent on libraries. The colonists had teachers who taught reading, writing, and grammar (Foner).

In the early days, libraries made farmers as intelligent as any gentleman (Singer). Most people know at least one person who just does not understand technology. Some say that they are cursed when it comes to technology. When they need to access a book, do they get on the computer? The more likely action for them to do would be to go to the nearest library and check out the book. Incompetent computer-users would be clueless on what to do on a library website. What if they were elderly? Some of them do not wish to learn new ways of doing things. Printed material was the way they learned, and the way they want to continue to learn.

How would most get books without a library? Most would prefer a book to a computer; who would or could tell them that there are only computers now? Libraries have been around for centuries. Books have already been bought and should be available to the public. Adding computers to the library allows them to stay up to date with the latest trends. There is no need to replace entirely. With libraries come great possibilities. Libraries could help with educating the young and serving the poor and less fortunate with technology. Many people rely on libraries, even for Internet service. Clearly libraries need to stay.