Culture

Are Libraries Still Important In Today’s World

For decades, the public library has been an essential part of many communities. However, with the rise of the internet and immediate availability of information and eBooks, many people think that the library as an institution is dying. They feel that it is out of date and redundant and, unfortunately, this line of thinking leads to libraries getting their funding slashed.

Despite this kind of thinking, libraries are more important than ever in today’s world. They need to stay funded and open in order to do the work that their community needs. So it is essential that people know the reasons why their library is so important and why they should support it.

Libraries Provide Access to Community Resources

Libraries are so much more than shelves full of books. Often, they are the link between community resources and the people who need them. Librarians can refer people to homeless shelters, mental health services, and other social and medical programs. They also often provide space for these programs to provide services for people who need it. Without the library, residents might not know where they could go to even begin to find the information and programs that they need.

Libraries Provide Free Internet Access 

Many people take internet access for granted. They have it in their homes, their work, and on their mobile phones. But there are people in the community who cannot afford to pay for those services. And with so many things going paperless, these people risk missing out on important opportunities. Libraries act as an access point for people to get onto the internet. By providing free internet, they allow users to connect with job opportunities and other things they wouldn’t get to otherwise.

Libraries Are a Free Third Place

The concept of a “third place” comes from the idea that you need somewhere to go outside of work and home. Many times, it can be a coffee shop or something similar. However, you need to spend money to go to those kinds of places. The library is free to anybody who wants to use it. This opens it up to be a warm, safe place for whoever goes there. Sometimes, being able to warm up in the library can be the difference between life and death for someone who is homeless in cold weather. While dire situations like this aren’t the most common way people use the library, they’re not rare either.

Libraries Provide Unbiased Information Seeking

With the library, you can access an enormous amount of resources on any topic you like. Whether you’re using physical items from the building’s collection or you’re accessing databases, you aren’t stuck reading from a single viewpoint. While this also requires a level of information literacy, you can get assistance with that from the library’s staff, who are often research professionals.

Libraries Promote Education in the Community

By supporting a public library in their city or town, a community shows that they value education. Education at the library can be academic, such as researching for college papers or learning how to read in the children’s library. But it can also pertain to subjects outside of school. Libraries offer programming on all sorts of topics, as well as books on anything you might want to learn about. The library’s entire mission revolves around educating and supporting its users. So if a town cares about education, it should care about funding its library.

Libraries Provide Access to Books

While books aren’t the only part of the library, they are still an important aspect of it. Books are expensive! Many people can’t afford to buy the books they need or want to read, whether it’s because they have a small budget or because they’re voracious readers. The library allows people to read whatever they want. This encourages users to read more and also branch out from their comfort zones because they don’t need to worry about paying for a book they might not like. By using the library’s book collection instead of buying everything you read, you make books more available to people who can’t afford them and you save yourself some money as well.

Libraries are so much more than dusty buildings full of old books. They are essential places that provide resources for the most underserved members of the population, as well as everybody else. By supporting and funding them, towns invest in the education and health of their community.