10/28: What is library’s role in age of iPad, Kindle?

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Georgia’s state funding of public libraries ranks eighth in the nation. But local support lags, so systems face big budget cuts.

Gwinnett County has turned to raising private funds.

University libraries, in turn, are moving to make their research more accessible to the masses.

Both make a strong case for the continued viability of libraries in the age of Kindle and the iPad.

26 comments Add your comment

Charles Forrest

October 30th, 2011
12:44 pm

The role of the library has always been to use the best available technology to collect, organize and present the inscribed cultural record, from the clay tablet and papyrus scroll, through the illuminated manuscript and printed book, to the internet and world wide web, and beyond to the next wave of emerging technologies. The public and academic library of today is a common good, and a center of community activity and engagement.

As the concentration of wealth continues in this country, and the gap between the haves and have-nots becomes wider, it is a civic responsibility to support free, equitable and reliable access to the resources need to guarantee an informed citizenry. As technologies proliferate and evolve at an ever-increasing pace, the mission remains constant: open access to information. The library is a cornerstone of democratic government.

Library Lover

October 29th, 2011
5:43 pm

I look forward to my days off…I head to the library and have a glorious day there! I use the computer to surf and make copies, ect. I’ve earned a Kindle and IPAD from my employer and have access to technology; still the library is so much more!

Dr. Pangloss

October 29th, 2011
9:47 am

Tom
October 28th, 2011
2:02 pm

Libraries should be more aggressive soliciting private funding if they plan to continue operating in their present manner. Personally, I am disgusted when I walk into our local libraries and see the only activity being performed by the volunteers while the paid staff is reading books – and we have a very large paid staff here in Coweta.
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My wife and I worked in various types of libraries for over 40 years. Nobody sits around reading books. That’s a silly, pernicious myth. In a library the work never stops.

Dr. Pangloss

October 29th, 2011
9:44 am

Libraries do much more than house books. They’re the place you go if you need to know something and don’t want some BS from the Internet. They’re the place that holds GED classes. They’re the place where senior citizens go to get help with their income tax returns. If you’re out of a job and don’t have the Internet, that’s where you go to use the library’s free computers.

And they have books.

Woody

October 29th, 2011
8:55 am

I live in a tiny little town that has a branch library. It’s amazing to me what the town citizens are willing to go through to keep their library open. It means something to them that is not quite expressible, and I think that is part of the lack of defense against library-haters and library-closers. Libraries, even little ones, are used in so many ways by so many different people. If we lose them, we lose something inexpressible. But if we lose them, the people will grieve all the same.

Jack

October 28th, 2011
6:41 pm

I’ve bought Kindles for my grand kids, but I still prefer the heft, the paper, the odor of real hard backs and paper backs. I’ve got a room full o’books and they are my best friends. Just can’t see myself dozing in my Lazy Boy without a book falling in my lap and waking me up. Long live libraries and book stores. (And ham radio.)