What’s a library for? I have to answer this question because of this article. What’s a library.
So at the beginning of the piece, the author is saying that the library across the street is closing, and well, he never went into it anyway. So he won’t miss it. But it means he knows nothing about it. Or why anyone might miss it. So I have some ideas about what he is missing.But he says some thing incorrect, so I will start there .
The author asks, why go to the library – the internet is free. I am guessing he doesn’t mean that the library charges . we don’t ( unless you are late or lose something). but The internet is not free. You have a monthly bill from you internet provider. Unless, of course, you are using your neighbor’s internet. Maybe he meant that once you are on the internet, the information is free.
Then let’s talk about the New York Times. It is free on the internet — as long as you are only interested in ten articles a month. At your library you can read all of today’s paper and ,at my library, you can read all the way back to 1851. No charge. And you like the crossword puzzle? Copy it at your library for 10 to 25 cents – or get the digital crossword subscription from the NYT. (yes, it is extra) . subscription info .
Which brings me to another point. You can get lots of quick answers on the internet,but maybe not the depth you need. Sometimes you just want to know where Benghazi is. Sometimes you want to know why we care about Benghazi ( the page I cam across didn’t really tell me)
Do you know who wrote what you are reading on the internet? Where it came from, when it was written? At the library – we can get you that information.
What about serendipity? I’m not talking about going down the rabbit hole of information on the internet and getting lost, but the wandering through the library shelves and spotting that book, that turns out to be what you really wanted. Or having that librarian says …”this isn’t exactly what you’ve been talking about , but there is a book that is related, that might be of interest…”
There are lots of other things going on in the library. Puppet shows, art classes, safety classes, book discussions,concerts, computer classes. And of course, we have books, DVDs, CDs, periodicals, ebooks, and audio-books.
There might be a lot of really good reasons to walk across the street and check out the library.