33 Reasons

Jessamyn and a number of other blogs have pointed to a thought-provoking article on libraries. The author lists 33 reasons why libraries are still important.

A few of my favorites:

1. Not everything is available on the internet. Amen.

9. Libraries aren’t just books. And it’s about time people knew that.

12. Library attendance isn’t falling – it’s just more virtual now. Which speaks to the problem of libraries still being judged by their circ records. When are we going to change that rubric?

20. Wisdom of crowds is untrustworthy, because of the tipping point. Yup. You get a crowd who will decide that one guy’s opinion is fabulous, and they follow like sheep. Just because the crowd agrees doesn’t make it right/valid/a good idea. Jonestown, anyone? Germany circa 1936?

Love it. And his conclusion is terrific (emphasis mine):

Society is not ready to abandon the library, and it probably won’t ever be. Libraries can adapt to social and technological changes, but they can’t be replaced. While libraries are distinct from the internet, librarians are the most suited professionals to guide scholars and citizens toward a better understanding of how to find valuable information online. Indeed, a lot of information is online. But a lot is still on paper. Instead of regarding libraries as obsolete, state and federal governments should increase funding for improved staffing and technology. Rather than lope blindly through the digital age, guided only by the corporate interests of web economics, society should foster a culture of guides and guideposts. Today, more than ever, libraries and librarians are extremely important for the preservation and improvement of our culture.

Great stuff. Read the whole thing.

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