“To me, public libraries — the availability of free
education for all — represent the collective commitment of a
community to their future. They symbolize what is most important, a
commitment to educating the next generation. The role of a public
library should also adapt over time, and that time is finally here.
It’s time to plan how we’re going to build the future and what
place public libraries have, should have, or won’t have. The goal
of this article is to get everyone talking about one of our great
resources, the public library, and its future.
“If you’re reading this, you’re likely not reading it in a
public library. Computers are cheap, and internet access is pretty
good for most people. The majority of people do not get their
online news from terminals at the public library. At one time the
library was “the living internet” — you went there to look up
something hard to find, to do research — now it’s all at our
fingertips through search engines, Wikipedia, and the web.
“So where does this leave libraries? Last week I walked by the
Borders on Broadway in NYC — it’s going out of business.
There are many reasons, but I think most people will agree giant
collections of books in giant buildings do not make as much sense
(or cents!) any longer”