Are libraries obsolete?

Out here in Colorado the only way certain rural areas finally got public libraries was in conjunction with school libraries. These cooperative agreements between Public Libraries, Counties and School districts were made decades ago during “good times” - including healthy tax revenues from growing oil extraction.

However now that times are getting tougher, resource depletion, dropping oil tax revenues - those previous agreements are now being strained. When the money isn’t there certain things, such as these rural libraries wind up on the chopping block.

That leaves the rural communities with a choice. Lose their local rural libraries or take ownership of them. Meaning, assuming organizational and financial responsibility. Including raising special district taxes.


Which brings me to the question. Are libraries obsolete? Or are they a necessary component of a healthy community?

I was curious if anyone here had any particular feelings towards local libraries in these modern times? Please share.

Are libraries worth saving and nurturing?

is north of the north pole north?

I like public libraries. I don’t patronize them much, but did for a couple of months earlier this year. It’s nice to know one is near.

Player what is colder than absolute zero? Nothing is north of the north pole.

Nothing is north of the north pole.
The Northpole is only north relative to the earth. The earth itself has no definable compass position in the solar system, except relative to it's own axis.

thats right. Add that silly question to CCs

Well, extending the North Pole axis into the cosmos, I suppose that Polaris is north of the North Pole. Polaris is actually 3 stars, Polaris A, Polaris B, and Polaris Ab.

Libraries rock!

I was a member of the Friends of the local library group for a few years, until work make me miss all the meetings and events one year, so I said I’d resign and come back when (if) I have more time.

I’ve taken correspondence courses and taken exams there, I’ve gone to local community group meetings there, there are a number of after-school activities there, and there are lots of clubs and groups and activities I don’t even know about that use the library.

They’re so much more than a collection of books (although that in itself makes them awesome.)

Most people aren’t aware of the things libraries add to a community. But that’s because most people aren’t involved in their community.

Since we’re the ones talking about north, we get to decide what direction it is. Since we call the direction of the earth’s axis that goes through the north pole “north”, I’m fine with calling everything past that point, north.

If scientists have better, less ambiguous ways if indicating directions, then they will ignore north and south. I don’t know how they do it though.

What’s silly about the question Player?

π: Most people aren’t aware of the things libraries add to a community. But that’s because most people aren’t involved in their community.
True dat.

I’m asking just because I’m wanting to pick some brains and hear some personal reasons people appreciate their local libraries.


I’m even be willing to hear out the Neanderthals who think libraries are nothing but a tax burden - and who hate government for the sake of hating government and expectations of a free ride.


Libraries are something we’ve learned to take for granted so a little discussion to remind us why we might need and love them ain’t such a bad thing. Is it Player? At least that’s what I’m after, a few different voices and what they have to share. Trying to broaden my own horizons. :slight_smile:

Oh and maybe I got alternative reasons, maybe not.

Incidentally Player, does it make you feel empowered to belittle people? Just another one of the many things I’m curious about.

I don’t use them much, but I see them changing to remain relevant. I’ve seen how you can check a bag of books and other materials to use for a book club, lots of events for kids and reading areas for them, meeting rooms and facilities. One thing I haven’t tried lately is using a librarian to help with research, might be a good experiment to try.

In our small town they are mostly used by kids playing video games (bad) and people who can’t afford a computer and/or internet (good).

I know that years ago we were without a computer and I had lost my job, so the library was critical in helping me make my resume and go online to find work.

Libraries can be a great leveler of society, where the poor can access basic, yet critical, tools that the rest of us take for granted.

Libraries are obsolete in the traditional sense; they can’t compete with the internet on books and information in general, but they will probably stick around for longer as nerdy community centers or something like that.

C.c very sensitive aren’t we??RUOK??

Actually, it’s Cc.

You’re not near as perceptive as you fancy yourself.

Why do you hate libraries, pray tell. :expressionless:

nerdy community centers

I’m also one of those people who can’t afford a high speed internet connection, not to mention the heavy duty anti-hacking shields you would have to buy these days. If it weren’t for my public library, I wouldn’t be on the internet at all. The library also has the community groups and after school programs for the kids as Pi-rat mentioned earlier. In addition to books, the library has dvds and blue rays for check out. And believe it or not, people DO still read books. Libraries are FAR from obsolete!

My earliest library memories are from my old elementary school. It was old with a very high ceiling and lots of wood, and was broken into three rooms/areas that branched off of the large common room. The common room had posters of scenes from fantasy and adventure books, with a row of framed art from The Lord of the Rings above the check-out counter where Mrs. Copithorne lived.

I was infatuated with dinosaurs and the far room with windows had an (in hind-sight) impressive collection of dinosaur books. Most were huge hardcovers with big glossy photos. I’m almost certain that without those books I wouldn’t be such a dino-geek.

The space was so inviting and relaxing and cozy that I would spend recess and lunch in there during the freezing Alberta winters. Having the quintessential classic old library as a kid probably made me the book lover I am.

Well I had to share the good news with someone:

NOVEMBER 5, 2019
Diary, 11/5/19 - Small Victories, USA’s newest Library District

<i>Can’t help it, sometimes the muse just hits me. We’ll see what i think 0f it in the morning, hope you don’t mind me using CFI for a test run</i>

<i> - night, night</i>


It was good news hearing that the ballot measure creating Southwest LaPlata Library District passed. That it passed by a somewhat narrow margin makes me think that many imagine our libraries aren’t important.

That’s why I’m thinking it’s important for us who believe in these two libraries to convey our feelings and the reasons behind them to all our neighbors. Why? Because this vote doesn’t guarantee success for our two libraries, only community satisfaction and enthusiasm will do that, and that the SWLPLD needs to earn.

Curiously, in truth I don’t even use Fort Lewis Library. Anymore that is, I did about 20, 25 years back. But, I’m still passionate about the long term success of our venture out here because of memories and love of libraries in general.

I’ve never not had a library card since being a young kid. It’s meant the world to me, at times it was an escape, at other times teaching and inspiration. Later it was my turn to take my kids. I cannot imagine depriving others of those opportunities.

See I’ve loved libraries since before going to school thanks to a funky little Chicago neighborhood branch library. A converted small store, huge storefront window, on the other side nonstop traffic, pedestrian and vehicles, then one long room, shelves with a few tables and chairs squeezed in between. Being a three block walk, doable for my mom and her brood of three, we visited regularly.

{It’s funny, that cluttered funky old Ignacio Library housed in a onetime home, always brought those old Chicago memories to life, way back when visiting with my own young brood of three.}

Times are different, but I know a few mothers and children around here and it’s plain to see libraries are every bit as important to them as they were to my mom and her kids.

Libraries are our mind’s binoculars to the great big world beyond our home and day to days. It’s provides keys for self-discoveries, along with self-improvement, along with stories and lessons that help prepare us to for the big world out there.

In these frightening times libraries are also places where healthy, civil, constructive community can be experienced and enhanced, something that I believe benefits all of us. That’s why I find myself an enthusiastic booster of our Southwest LaPlata Library District, Sunnyside Library and Fort Lewis Mesa Library.

That’s also why I’d like to share this short 7 minute story about how ‘Carnegie Turned His Fortune Into A Library Legacy.’

Susan Stamberg - August 1, 2013 - Heard on Morning Edition

Libraries also bridge the digital divide. Ask a librarian to tell you some stories