Are Libraries Still Useful?

I once asked my son to go the library and do some research on his assignment. Do you know what he said, “we are in the digital era, why should I turn pages of books manually, while I can easily Google the content?” Are libraries still useful? This article will answer this question in detail. Read along to find out.

Google is 18 years old. Legendary search engines like HotBot and Lycos have been in existence since 1990’s.The information found on the internet is typed and uploaded online. Anyone can put anything online, whether professional or unprofessional. A book has to be edited and fact checked before it is published. This means that books have the most accurate and reliable information. Whatever happened in the days of our forefathers before the invention of the internet, will be found in the library. It is only in the library, where we will find stories that have outlived cultures and that are as old as when people came into existence. Though the content will be on the internet as well, it will not guarantee reader satisfaction as that found in libraries.

According to the author Neil Gaiman, all books will not migrate into our screens. People go to the libraries for information. Developing countries like Bangladesh and Kenya have inadequate means to access the internet. Accessing the internet is not free, you have to make payment in terms of data bundles. It is only in the library where people with no access to internet connections and those that don’t own computers can find information for free.

A study conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development revealed that older people from England have a higher literacy and numeracy proficiency than the younger people. The generation of today has not taken seriously the value of books. More and more libraries are closed down every day. A generation of people with access to fewer books won’t be able to navigate the world. The same study also revealed that access to no books means that people can’t acquire skills needed for employment. That is why the population of employed people consists more of older people than the young. The easiest way to raise literate children is by teaching them to read and showing them that there is pleasure in reading.

Yes, libraries are still useful and will always be useful. Competency in life can only be learned through reading. And the reliable and reputable information can only be found in the library.