A world without libraries

It’s now possible to imagine a world without libraries.

It’s a sad thought.

I love libraries but I haven’t needed to borrow a book in years. I still have a state library card for Tasmania. It’s tucked away in my purse along with my Blockbuster card which I too have no use for. I’ve thought about throwing them away-as they are taking up valuable card space- but I can’t bring myself to do it.


It’s a reminder of how far technology has come.

I no longer rely on non-fiction books for my studies. Instead I use online journals and publications for a number of reasons: they contain the most recent information, are accessible from home 24-7, are peer reviewed and I can use a key word search to quickly establish if they have the information I need.  The library in comparison has limited copies of books, borrowing times and various classification systems. If I had to decide between online databases and a library I’d choose databases.

As I’ve mentioned before reading has been a big part of my life and I go crazy if I don’t relax with a book. I used to borrow fiction books from the library by the bag full but now I find myself either buying them for a few dollars at a second hand bookstore or downloading them on my kindle in a matter of minutes. Speed, ease of access and limitless titles on online book stores means I no longer rely on libraries to get my fix. I even have my own virtual library now as my friends and I loan our kindle books with each other.

While I can accept (just) that we may find ourselves in a world without libraries I wonder what, if anything, will take their place.

Although we were once drawn to libraries based on our desire for knowledge I think we are also seeking a sense of community– a space to discuss ideas or simply sit quietly surrounded by others.

As we spend more time building our online communities I can’t help but think we are neglecting real world ones. Where will we go when we are seeking social interaction if community spaces like libraries are gone? Maybe I’m being selfish. I don’t even use libraries so why should I care? I do because I have the best of both worlds. And future generations may not.


Featured image by Rachel Kurzyp.

About these ads

Have something to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 125 other followers

%d bloggers like this: