Reading

Are Public Libraries Going EXTINCT?? // Pros & Cons Of Our Favorite Book Stop

I am in love with a place called the library.

Stepping into a library is like entering a new universe. It’s a place where books are respected and revered, where stories and imagination are encouraged. There’s a tense silence in the air that melts away when you open a book and get immersed in its world.

So I was surprised when I learned how few people actually like the library. Apparently, only 19% of Americans read for fun (and that number is dwindling). Is the library becoming extinct with the lack of readers and increase of digital reading? Why should we even have libraries around in 2018??

We’re going to decide together whether libraries are necessary to keep around as we examine the highs and lows of our favorite book temples. I present to you: the pros and cons of public libraries!

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FREE BOOKS

As sad as it is, we can’t spend all our hard-earned savings on great books. It’s so sad, I know. That’s where the library becomes our book obsession’s saving grace.

Free books.

Can I say that again?

✨ fREE bOOOOks ✨

Bookdragons everywhere, rejoice, for the library has all the free books you could ever want. And, even better, they’re able to be used by people who don’t have any access to books! How awesome is that?! Point, library!

… but you don’t have them long

You might be able to have free books, but the time in which you have to read them is short. Two weeks to read several books is not long for a teenager in this age, and renewing books is annoying to other library patrons waiting for your books.

A fix for this problem would be to keep a loan time but stop loaning physical books. Instead, the library would be an online resource where you could ‘borrow’ books to read straight from your device. Since everyone would have their own individual copies, no one would inconvenience other people by renewing books.

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book sales

There are some books that you actually don’t have to bring back. Libraries often have book sales for books that aren’t getting checked out or have been donated. Some of the books are free to keep!

While these sales are a bit of an adventure — you don’t know what you’re getting into until you’re already there — they can be useful in broadening your book preferences. You might find a new favorite author or one to avoid altogether!

the books are often damaged

Unfortunately, some people aren’t so gentle with the books they borrow. Library books tend to have their fair share and more of dog-ears, miscellaneous pen scribbles, and other questionable substances found seeping through the pages.

But, worse than that are the covers. The beautiful hardback covers, reduced to battered, sticker-full page armor! Even the free and cheap books they have aren’t in good condition. Library books are rarely ever good for photoshoots, so you have to buy your own, new copies for really nice pictures. but we’re still gonna take pictures because heck they’re books & aesthetically pleasing

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they’re magical

As I said in the introduction, libraries are just so refreshing. For me, the library is reminiscent of good memories: stopping by to grab a stack of comic books before Wednesday night church, renting a room to do homework in while our house was under renovation, and meeting other teen participants of NaNoWriMo 2017. I can walk through the children’s section and relive all my early book obsessions with Geronimo Stilton or Nancy Drew or Judy Moody.

Not only that; there’s the book smell, the Dewey Decibel signs on the shelves… the place just glows with a love for stories. It’s the ultimate reader/writer aesthetic and I love it?!

they aren’t relevant anymore

Libraries are important to non-bookish people for three main reasons — study, computer usage, and library events. Obviously, it’s not a problem to use the library’s resources. That’s what it’s there for anyway, to be used! But these three utilities can be provided without public libraries.

Firstly, almost all study nowadays is online. There are literally schools that don’t require you to purchase or borrow any books at all. As time goes on, the need for physical books to study is going to be almost nonexistent.

Not everyone has wi-fi or computers to use at home. Given how necessary they are to living in the 21st century, it’s nice to have a place that provides computers for free use. But plenty of schools have libraries* with computers, too.

There are buildings designed specifically for renting out, so libraries aren’t entirely necessary in that aspect. There’s always a way out of everything, so libraries aren’t really that essential.


*or, as i’ve been told they’re called now, ‘media centers’ 🙄

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large selections

Libraries are freaking huge when you think about it. The small ones might only hold a hundred or so humans, but books are small. Four books (and then some) are equal to the height of one average-sized man, and that’s not even counting width. THAT’S A LOT OF BOOKS TO DEVOUR.

In addition to being huge, the library has a lot of different types of books so you can widen your selection and be diverse in your reading or something like that I need to address books & diversity soon whoops. I really appreciate the effort my library puts into accommodating books of all types, even the unusual ones.

… but not many unique books

But then…

Then there are the books they don’t have at the library.

Then there are those tricky little obscure books that, when you try to find them, whoops, AREN’T THERE!! ERROR 404 TRY AGAIN LATER.

And you will never be able to read those books for free. You have to go on flipping Amazon and buy a copy and wait a week for it to get to your house.

BUT YOU NEED THE BOOK NOW.

i need u

Seriously, there are so many books the library doesn’t offer. Not every book can be at the library,* but isn’t it disappointing when a book, especially a relatively popular book, isn’t at your branch? My library doesn’t have a very good selection, so I’m constantly left dealing with half-finished series, missing volumes, and I stiLL CAN’T FIND THE RAVEN BOYS ASDFGHJKL??!


*sadly, it is not a never-ending, consistently growing space portal holding every book in the universe.

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it’s a bookish temple

In addition to the library being a reader’s dream world, it’s also very enjoyable in more practical ways. For one, libraries are often really cute with all the kids’ artwork on the walls of the children’s section until you get to the adult section and its all historic-y but nobody cares about that. 

I’m going to throw stereotypes out the window and proclaim: LIBRARIANS ARE AWESOME! They are literally hired to think about books, talk about books, and be around books. Actually, everybody in the library’s cool. You can tell which ones are happy to be there with a billion books, and it’s comforting in a way to be surrounded by likeminded people like that! 😍

Finally, there are a bunch of great activities at the ‘brary. Writing, crocheting, movie watching, and baking are a few that I’ve seen on my library’s calendar. I was an active participant (for a month lol) in a knitting class and one of a few local NaNoWriMo writers. Not to mention, there are some great reading and writing challenges every now and then that are fun to take on!

The library has been a staple in countless towns for years upon years and should not be leaving anytime soon. There are too many upsides to a community library to take it away.

you actually have to go there

To get to this Book Temple, though, you have to physically go there. You know, a homeschooler’s worst nightmare. that was a joke dont hurt me homeschoolers

I don’t know about other counties, but my library doesn’t deliver books straight to your door (though that would be really cool — somebody do that!). Places without delivery are going out of business like you wouldn’t believe — exactly like how malls are beginning to disappear. Home delivery is how you stay alive in the service industry this generation.

Already the library is taking a downhill turn. It can’t be long before it’s overtaken by Audible, Kindle, and other book-renting companies.

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Sequentially, I think libraries deserve a lot more love than they’re given. It was really hard to write arguments against my point. The library is awesome! FREE BOOKS!!

What about you? Do you think libraries will be gone soon, or will they hang onto their reign a while longer? What do you use your local library for? If libraries actually did go extinct, what would you miss most?

love,

design-73

46 thoughts on “Are Public Libraries Going EXTINCT?? // Pros & Cons Of Our Favorite Book Stop”

  1. HARUMI !!!! pulls out knife
    GERONIMO STILTON puts down knife
    HOMESCHOOLER JOKE…YAAAAYYY
    ..sry..wisdom teeth +like 6 pain pills = loopy me 😅 but anaesthesia was fun

    LIBRARYS WERE AWESOME, THE ONE BY MY OLD HOUSE IS STILL AWESOME (that’s where I was introduced to the glorious American Girls and Geronimo Stilton series + Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen mystery series) . Its funny, on a practiace SAT test one of the reading segments was about how librarians were being replaced/unappreciated/unwanted which is totally wrong..I mean…think about the jedi temple librarian from TCW 😂 Libraries need to be here..PERIOD.

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    1. :O DONT HURT MY GIRL 😭 i still have hope for her! or… i did… 😭
      oh my goodness how did that come about? are you in pain? 😦
      YESS TEAM LIBRARY. aw that’s just sad, of course librarians are wanted, they help give us ALL THE BOOKS! libraries are awesome thank you.

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      1. Well…a long time ago, God decided to put teeth of wisdom in peoples head,but that backfired so now they have to be dug out through drills and stuff….I blame Eve😂
        Jk jk, just to avoid problems they had to go 🍦🍨

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  2. I love getting books from the library. I love owning books, but the library is extra helpful because it lets me see if I actually like the books first. (Every time I’ve bought a book without reading it from the library first, it. Has. Sucked. cringes)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LIBRARYYYYYYY ;((((((( my favorite place ever! I cannot believe how much they’ve begun to get neglected. Even our library is massively increasing the number of electronic books and decreasing the number of R E A L books that you can holddd and that have covers and smell good and yeah im just obsessed with actual books. I love our library because it’s not in a big city and used a ton, so they’re super lenient about how long you get to have the book. That being said, I do love collecting my own books 😉 Yess I agree librarians are just the best I love that I always see the same faces whenever I go to the library. My bestie and I have a life goal of memorizing the dewey decimal system (will it ever happen??? idkk rather doubtable). Are the pictures in the post from your library? They’re gorgeous! NOPE THE LIBRARY BETTER NOT GO ANYWHERE it would be so sad if we were grown up and had kids and they couldn’t enjoy the library 😥 I’m homeschooled scorns the homeschooler joke but my older bro’s school has nooo textbooks, only electronic copies. HENCE why I stay at home xD Thanks for this post!!

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    1. I KNOW RIGHT!! oh me too real books have the smell and feel and they just have an atmosphere of how much they have been LOVED ✨
      YEAH the same librarians are like always there and its so cute when you walk in and they know you 🙃 no, these pictures are (unfortunately) stock images. i’m trying to switch to originial photos in the near future but my library isn’t that pretty anyway laughs nervously
      oh gosh i haven’t thought of that 😦 that would be a sad day!
      lol, that’s the homeschooler life. it’s the same for me. and college is literally 100% online you don’t even have to go to the school library!
      you’re welcome isabel! thanks for the comment! 💛

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  4. YAAAS. FREE BOOKS. I never get anything unless it’s cheap or free, so I’M FOR LIBRARIES TO THE END.
    I would shrivel up and die along with libraries if they did…. I don’t have anything to read digital books on!!! OnO

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  5. I just started using the library and it’s awesome!! One is within biking distance so so,times that’s how we get there!
    Okay, I’m going to be technical here. To tell the truth, libraries are not free books. You pay for the libraries in your taxes. So right now the library gives me free books, but when I move out I will have to start paying for the library.
    That said, because your forced to pay for the libraries anyway, WHY NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT AND USE THE LIBRARIES!!!! CUZ THEY ARE STILL PRETTY COOL!
    So on the surface libraries are “free” but you actually pay for them in your taxes.
    Anyway other than that point this post was so fun to read! Love your discription of the place. And the smells of books! dies

    Liked by 1 person

  6. cries Libraries for me are like the mall for some girls. I couldn’t live without them!!!
    Unfortunately there aren’t any here where I am. (Maybe I’ll start a revolution…)
    But I’d hate to see the library go…. cries again And also, I’d TOTALLY take the stereotype to be a librarian. 😍 😂

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      1. Yes! I spent hours a week there. Time well spent.
        Yeah, there are back him in TN but here in East Africa there isn’t any. I MISS MY OLE TN LIBRARY!!!
        Be around books all day? Uh yeah! 😁

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      2. It’s going pretty well! My dad works at the center and teaches the Bible in the schools everyday. I try to go when I’m not doing school, so I’m not there as often as I’d like. But it’s great! Thanks for asking. 😉
        We should definitely keep in touch!!

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  7. First of all, I love your idea about digital renting of books! Then nobody would have to wait! Also, I think if libraries went extinct I would miss the study space the most. Cafes and home just don’t compare to the quiet space of a library to get some work done.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. LIBRARIES!!! I got to the library on average once a week, well actually since we live in a suburb type area, a bookmobile comes out to our little park, so we go there. XD

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      1. Yeah, it is interesting. Basically it’s a RV type size vehicle that carries a very limited selection of books. 99% of the time I request books from the library, because of the limited selection, but it is very convenient. XD

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  9. I love the library and clearly you do, too… but some of those “devil’s advocate” points you raised aren’t very good.

    Many libraries already offer e-books. Check the website of yours!

    Books you check out from the library should be in good condition. If they’re not, tell the librarian!! Of course the books have a lot of plastic over them to protect from damage, which makes them not great for taking pictures. But if they really have any big stains or tears, that is something a librarian can do something about.

    Libraries ARE relevant because they provide not only books, but all those other services for FREE. As you later mentioned, a lot of people don’t have internet access at home. But unlike you mentioned, many of those people are NOT students who can use their schools. What are they supposed to do without a library? Additionally, renting space can be super expensive even for a decently well-off person, so the library having free meeting space is huge.

    About books that the library doesn’t have: you can request them. You might not get them right away, but if you are willing to wait a bit, librarians will order the book for you.

    Also, they provide a lot of services you didn’t even mention, like offering classes and employment resources for adults, and youth programs to educate and entertain kids. Reference librarians are experts who can help you find any information you might need, and they provide more and better information than you can get from just searching the internet. I remember a librarian helped me find a really old map for a school project that I couldn’t have found anywhere else.

    Sorry if this is a bit long — I just love libraries and I can’t help but defend them!!

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    1. laughs obviously i don’t hold much against the library! you see right through my (poor) arguments.
      definitely!! the library is very useful to the community and i think it should stay not only because it’s awesome, but because it helps people in so many ways! thanks for reading and commenting, valerie! 💙

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Libraries are amazing! I can’t remember when I didn’t love going to the library. I’ve been going to the library almost weekly since I was a baby.
    Libraries cannot be allowed to go extinct!

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  11. Only 19% of Americans read for fun??? How is it so low?? I love the library so much, and I’ve found that as I’ve gotten older I’ve started reading more ebooks from the library (so I don’t have to actually go there haha) Having books for a certain amount of time can be annoying, but I think libraries are still really important

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  12. I LOVE LIBRARIES DEARLY. And I really don’t see any cons to them, except the fact that they aren’t as loved as much anymore, and that makes my heart so sad.

    But what makes my heart happy is, my local library is always busy when I go! There are tons of little kids with their parents, tutoring going on in the study section, teens and adults getting books, etc. So hopefully public libraries never go extinct, because I don’t know what I’d do without mine.

    Great post!💛

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  13. If libraries go digital I will NEVER borrow from them again because physical books are just better. I LOVE THE FACT THAT THE BOOKS ARE FREE! But… I… can’t… keep… them…?? That’s the part that’s sad…

    Haha, that joke about us homeschoolers is so true for my family. We hate to leave our house. XDD

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      1. Ahh, I know!
        Your welcome Abby! You’re posts inspire me a lot, and you definitely are a lovely blogger!
        Yay! I’m really excited now!

        Like

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