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The Shocking Truth About Libraries!

Alexander Raths

I haven’t been in a library for years. All the information I need I can get from the convenience of my own home. Recently I learned about changes going on in libraries and couldn’t believe it.

I’ll always respect libraries as valuable community centers. I did go to a class once at a library. My son goes to study (it’s a more conducive atmosphere than our home). I learned about gardening at the park behind the Kennewick library on Union Street. And when I’m there I’m always amazed at what a busy place it is. But I don’t really need the library.

It turns out I’m not alone and libraries are battling to change that!

From a recent Reddit post by a librarian:

We now have ebooks, DVDs, CDs, BluRays, video games. All available for free–paid for by your tax dollars, ready for you to borrow at your convenience. Also, our library have 3D printers, engravers, and music studio suites, all for public use.

I don’t know how much of that is true for the Richland Library and Mid-Columbia Libraries, but I know it’s MOSTLY true. They are always promoting their eBook collections and tablet readers to enjoy them on.

But is that a good thing or a bad thing? Some people believe libraries exist to allow free and fair access to information. If information goes digital, libraries must as well. If movies go Blu-ray, so must library film collections. If leisure becomes video games, libraries must have video games.

My friend thinks libraries should be depositories of information. Why stock the shelves with stuff you can get at Hastings and Barnes & Noble? Today I was searching for old pictures in John Milton’s “Paradise Lost.” Can I find that book — with the original etchings — at my local library? Or did they replace that section with video games?

What do you think?

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