By Logan Constancio
The world is going more and more online lately. It seems that with every passing day, the world is growing more and more advanced. One thing gets more advanced and another grows outdated. Recently, there’s been discussion regarding whether or not libraries should remain in existence, considering practically every book can be bought online now — be that a physical or a digital copy. Neil Gaiman once said, “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.”
I volunteer at a library; I can say, libraries are more than just a place to pick up a book. They’re beyond important, actually, and they provide so many resources for so many people. Libraries can be anything, really. They have so many important features. For example, they serve as a place for kids to go after school. If a child is in a less than ideal situation or environment at home, a library is a safe place they can go and stay until it closes. While online purchases of books may be easier, libraries offer hard copies of works without a price. Some people may prefer physical copies of books as well, because it can be easier to hold and keep track of.
On top of that, libraries provide internet access to people who might not have it. If you can’t call a family member or someone else important for whatever reason, you can go to a library. As long as you know their number, you can call whoever you need to from a library, be that with your own phone or the library’s.
Librarians themselves are incredibly important. Librarians are trained to help with many different problems, ranging from figuring out taxes to helping someone fill out a job application. Over half of libraries help patrons find healthcare insurance resources as well.
Libraries also help preserve histories. Arguably, one of the most important features of a library is the fact that they preserve every book bought, sent, and donated. With so many works now being more digital, without proper archiving it can be difficult to save everything. Libraries save every book they can, and allow anyone to see, read, touch, and use them however they need to.
Another reason why libraries are so important is that they’re actually really economically beneficial. Because they’re dependent on sharing, they’re almost completely “green.” In addition, all of libraries’ services are free, meaning that anyone of any background can use their resources.
Libraries are also vital to education. Libraries provide schools, children, and anyone alike the means for education they need. School libraries provide children with books they may want to check out, but can’t because they can’t get to a library. They may provide college students books or textbooks for classes that they need but can’t afford on their own.
In short, libraries are extremely important. Libraries are one of the most community-based and community-building establishments in a city or town. They’re a place for people of all ages to visit, spend time, study, and meet new people. They provide answers to any question you have, they provide shelter for people who need it, they provide a source of internet, computers, and contact that some people need. It isn’t even a question of whether or not libraries are outdated and unneeded nowadays, because they’re so important. Libraries are more than just books. They provide a myriad of answers, resources, and support to people who need them. Libraries provide safety for those who need it, they provide entertainment for those who can’t afford it, and they provide education for those who feel they need it.
Logan Constancio is a student at Spring Grove High School. He is one of 17 area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its 24th year.