“A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life.” ~Henry Ward Beecher
As has always been the case, the library is the place where the world goes to get information and knowledge. The primary difference is that, rather than stacks loaded with yellow-edged books, the information now is contained in bits and bytes on servers around the globe. The library still has the stacks, and the yellowed books – but it now is a connection to the world and the new way we interact with it. While over three-quarters of the US population uses the internet on a regular basis, only about 61% has internet (either dial-up or broadband) in their home. With more and more activities of our daily life taking place online, those 40% who don’t have access to the internet at home are at a disadvantage. Bills are paid online, jobs are applied for, and in some cases interviewed and approved or rejected online. With the large number of unemployed, and the growing number of employers that require that all applications be submitted online (either by email or through an online application system), the library has become the job center for the 21st century.
Libraries remain as necessary today as they were 50 years ago – computers have not made them extinct, in fact, they have increased the need for libraries.
If you have not visited a library recently, stop in soon – and offer your support your local library!