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Since I have been working at a library the past 2 1/2 years  I found the following article interesting. Libraries are changing.The libraries that I grew up going to were strictly a place to check out books-are no longer just that and more importantly to survive they have to keep evolving.

I was having a conversation recently with a friend- who admitted to not being inside a library for twenty years- he said “I don’t see why libraries even exist anymore.” He looked at them as just places with books. I then gave him a number of examples as to why they do- and why it is important that they do. A number of our most frequent patrons never check out a book- they come for other things- to read the newspaper, attend programs we offer, to use our computers or internet, as a work place etc.

article below –

What are public libraries for?


  1. Excellent article, Hans. I’m shocked that some are stopping using the Dewey decimal system. I just celebrated my 3rd anniversary of being back and using the library, and I am thrilled to be using it so much. What is so heartening is the sheer number of activities going on at the district library branches. There are at least one or two group things going on every day at my branch, for kids or adults, and there is a wonderful turnout for them.

    • Not sure the size of your L- but our L is not a huge library by any means- a town of 5000 or so–but we have for that population and the size of our town a lot of programs. When I moved here 24 years ago I don’t think there was much going on except maybe children’s programs… the library in the town I grew up in had one librarians- books and no programs. Times change. I’ve always loved libraries. I was a familiar face at ours before they hired me on.

  2. Great topic and article. I’m a huge fan of libraries, and the notion that each one should transform itself into what the community, or neighborhood, needs of it. We have the new central library that resembles ‘Anythink’. But our city leaders are now using that new facility as an excuse to shut down neighborhood branches in low income areas. It’s another way of being out of touch, and cutting off essential services to people who rely on them. The neighborhood branches are safe places of learning for the young and vulnerable in the neighborhood. Not everyone has access to downtown.

  3. Our town library is walking distance from my house and adjoined with the town parking garage, connecting to the local market. There is always some kind of activity there. It’s a wonderful gathering place.

    I would cry if libraries shut down. That would feel like censorship to me.

  4. Our New England town just received a grant to renovate our crumbling and too-small library. I’m amazed that some people are still unaware of the vital role public libraries serve as well as the wide range of programs and resources they offer today. Have you read Susan Orlean’s Library Book? I just reviewed it on my site along with photos of my favorite libraries.

    • I read the book months ago and the book I thought was excellent- will be reading your review… at the library I run a non-fiction book club- that is my book for August. … Yes I think a lot of people who haven’t been to the library in decades think of libraries as just a place with a lot of books. I think a lot of the people in communities as you said- do not realize what libraries have to offer… glad to hear your town has gotten the grant to renovate!

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