Friday, January 20, 2012

Demise of Libraries?

Doesn't the Internet make libraries obsolete?

That's one of the most common questions that I'm asked about my job. 

Last Friday, The Huffington Post published a great article that said "Those who prematurely announced the demise of libraries at the hands of the Internet failed to anticipate the symbiotic relationship that would develop between the two institutions."

In fact, studies show that Internet users are much more likely to visit public libraries than non-Internet users.

The ways in which library visitors use the Internet show just how important a public service this has become.   The article's author, Susan Hildreth reported that:
  • 42 percent of those using library Internet computers used it to advance educational goals;
  • 40 percent had career or employment purposes, with three-quarters of those specifically seeking a job;
  • 37 percent were focused on health and wellness; and
  • 34 percent used the library's Internet connection to link to government officials, programs, and services.
Makes you think, doesn't it?