Are Libraries Important?

Today the existence of libraries in our midst is so much taken for granted that their significance as living institutions is almost lost to us. Why are libraries important, and why will they ever be so?

Libraries contain the heritage of humanity: the record of its triumphs and failures, its intellectual, scientific, and artistic achievements, and its collective memory. They are a source of knowledge, scholarship, and wisdom.

They are an institution, withal, where the left and the right, God and the Devil, are together classified and retained, in order to teach us what to emulate and what not to repeat. Libraries are, in short, the mirror held up to the face of humankind, the diary of the human race.

Libraries are not only repositories of past human endeavor, they are instruments of civilization. They provide tools for learning, understanding, and progress. They are the wellspring of action, a laboratory of human aspiration, a window to the future. They are a source of self-renewal, intellectual growth, and hope.

In this land and everywhere on earth, they are a medium of progress, autonomy, empowerment, independence, and self-determination. They have always provided, and I would suggest always will provide, place and space for imaginative re-creation, for imaginative rebirth.
– source: Libraries and Andrew Carnegie’s Challenge

Australian Library Statistics

  • 12 million people are registered public library users
  • They make 100 million visits to over 1,700 public libraries each year
  • Public libraries lend over 174 million items/year
  • 25,000 people work in Library and Information services

13 thoughts on “Are Libraries Important?”

  1. The great thing about libraries is that, they utilise modern technologies all the time to stay relevant.

    For example here in sydney, some of the council libraries provide free wireless broadband. How great is that..

    EDITOR: That’s right Don eg: Sydney City Council libraries started offering permanent free Wi-Fi access in March 2008

    I do some casual work at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) library and the free wireless access is very popular with students

  2. I just started using my local library. It’s fantastic.

    In fact I am going there shortly to see if they are interested in me offering an Introduction to Blogging course.

  3. I love the online database that they have….I can actually check which of my local council libraries has the book I am after and go straight there…And then I can also renew it online…

  4. Me and my children love the library. We love going just to get new books, but we are also lucky enough to live in an area where they have fantastic FREE kids activities regularly.

  5. It’s a debate on this topic few weeks ago in a book cafe near my house. Some said libraries are not so important these days.. One of the reasons was, you know, internet can replace this place. For example. I used to buy books and collected more than 300 books, I searched some topics covered in those books and I found that the knowledge are also available in internet. The internet helps to ease of searching topics just with keywords via search engines. Text and images are also avaliable. 🙂 The pro-library said that “Old Books” were hard to find on the internet and the “feel” of touching the paper are the reasons why libraries are better. I used to visit libraries but now only if I want to read the books of histories and arts…

  6. Libraries are very important — I know wherever I’ve lived, I’ve always had a library card and used it. Also, I remember going often as a child for kids activities.

  7. library has lost its utmost importance since the net being popularize. i used to spent time reading in library. then it became using encyclopedia disk in library computers.. followed by internet in library.. and of course internet at home. who else goes library nowadays eh,,

  8. The day libraries go away it would be a sad day that kids spend their time sitting at the computer instead of going to the library for a certain book and walking past the 1,000 others and discovering other books they thought that they would never see… I don’t see them going away but still it is a sad thought… take care

  9. Libraries are the most important part of any country, society or community no matter how much technology has advanced or developed. Though there are millions of web sites on the web they cannot give all the information that a library can give.

  10. I don’t believe libraries are as popular as they once were. I would have to say google is my library now. I do believe it is still important for young children to utilize library’s today.

  11. I work at a library! I have noticed that only a certain demographic comes through the doors – families or old people mostly, it would be a sad thing if libraries disappeared, it’s a public service

  12. Libraries are the socializing place. It may also be calles as social networking place. You can increase your network visiting the library and nicely using it’s resources. Books are the best friends of mine sice I was very young. Books taught me many things, helped me a lot to improve my personality. Taught me how to make good use of money. They taught me how to live life and what not. With reading books I learne to imagine and improve my vision to take right decesions.

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