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Are Public Libraries Still Needed?

Public libraries are a common good

Amazon has made them superfluous

 Getty: Ian Forsyth / Stringer

Public libraries offer all members of society a hugely valuable service that is as important as ever, infers Constance Grady of Vox. The notion that Amazon has replaced it with its easily accessible online bookstore and e-readers is wrong. The online retailer works for its own interests, in the pursuit of maximum profit. Unlike public libraries, it does not freely offer books, movies, learning tools, job search assistance and much more to even the poor. Like public education, everyone pays for libraries because they are a public good that helps educate society, even if not every individual uses them. Public libraries carry many benefits for all.

Keep on reading at Vox

Libraries are on the path to redundancy due to the advances in e-book technology and the ease of buying books on Amazon, writes Marc Bodnick in Forbes. While libraries do provide many services, they revolve around lending out books. Particularly in this regard, e-readers have made it so easy to access any book that taking a trip to the library becomes much less appealing. Even then, someone else might have borrowed the book or they might not have it at all.  ‘Power readers’ in particular who read a lot are served better with an e-book. Amazon has streamlined the reading process, making libraries economically unnecessary.

Keep on reading at Forbes
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