Physical libraries are needed

Courtney Schuna, Opinion Writer

Courney Schuna

In today’s society, we are always evolving with different technologies that allow us to find information with just the click of a button. With this type of technological access, are public libraries still needed around the world?

According to New York Times writer Michael Gonchar’s article “Do We Still Need Libraries?”, libraries relate to all different kinds of citizens.

“The libraries are where poor children learn to read and love literature, where immigrants learn English, where job-seekers hone résumés and cover letters and those who lack ready access to the internet can cross the digital divide,” Gonchar wrote.

According to Polk Library’s library services assistant Sam Goldben, libraries have always been used in societies.

“I don’t believe there would ever be a reason for libraries to not exist and that there will always be a need for libraries,” Goldben said. “They’re ever-changing, as evidenced by how they had been used 100 years ago and how they are used today.”

Libraries have various pieces of literature that average citizens would not otherwise have access to regularly.

“Libraries are still needed because they provide access to things that no other place does,” Goldben said. “Take, for example, the Library of Congress; they have access to limited print editions of books that no one would ever be able to see if they didn’t offer it.”

Goldben said public libraries offer various resources for citizens to take advantage of if needed.

“Access to free legal help, job fairs, career advice from volunteers to help you find a job, free books, research advice, technical support and access to computers are various resources libraries offer,” Goldben said.

UWO senior Samantha Tate said she believes libraries offer more than just a place to study for children and teenagers.

“When I was in school, I would go to the library instead of my babysitter so I could read books and listen to story time,” Tate said.

UWO senior Renee Adler said she uses libraries as not only a place for solitude but for various types of entertainment.

“I was at the library almost every day when I was younger,” Adler said. “ I was there so much that I actually unofficially worked there and helped the librarians choose books. Libraries offer a sense of community for their communities, and sometimes they have entertainment like a board game or movie nights.”

Even with all the technology at our fingertips, we still need libraries not just for access to books, but a place for a community to come together and support one another.