A Public Library Without Books? No, Thank You!

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books library cluttered shelves

Are books OBSOLETE? I certainly don’t think so!

Ishpeming, MichiganJanuary 9, 2014 –  The first thing in my Facebook feed this morning was a link to the LATimes.com article entitled “Nation’s first bookless public library system opens.”

I really can’t imagine a library without books. The main attraction of a library, at least for me,  is BOOKS! I love finding dusty old books that look like they haven’t been read in years.

I found one of my favorite books that way. I was about 15 years old and wandered around the Ishpeming Carnegie Public Library  until a dusty old book caught my eye.

It was cloth-covered, the red cover faded to a dull pink. After reading a few pages, I decided to check it out. I spent the next couple hours sitting against a tree in Bancroft Park reading The Scarlet Pimpernel. If you haven’t read it, you should. It’s a good book.

Remembering time spent in the library and books I’ve read over the years brings back a lot of good memories. I guess I have an emotional attachment to my local library and to my own little library at home. That’s why I can’t understand why anyone would be interested in a bookless library.

According to the LAtimes.com article, the Bexar County Digital Library in San Antonio has NO printed books. Instead, the library has 500 e-readers, with 10,000 e-books available for download to a borrowed e-reader or to a home computer. No books. Not a single one.

The idea of bookless libraries makes me think of a Twilight Zone episode called The Obsolete Man. It’s set in the future and the main character is an obsolete man… he is a librarian. He saved books when the government started burning them and his living quarters were stuffed with books, including a copy of The Bible — an offense punishable by death. He is brought before a government tribunal and is judged to be obsolete, along with his profession, his values, his religion, and of course his books.

I don’t think a totalitarian dictatorship is going to take over the country and burn all the books any time soon, but libraries without books seems very wrong to me.

What do you think? Would you like to see a completely digital library? Do you prefer the weight, smell and substance of a good old fashioned book in your hands? Fill out the comment form below and let me know!


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