The Importance of Libraries in a Digital Age
Updated: Sep 24, 2022
Throughout history, libraries have always existed as a treasure trove of knowledge, but are they still relevant today, in a world dominated by smartphones and the vast archive that is the internet? \
The internet, which was invented in the late 20th century has catapulted in popularity in the last couple of decades and its popularity is only continuing to grow. It has pushed our world into the digital age that has seemingly dominated the world. In addition, the ever-growing popularity of digital devices has also contributed to this. Almost everyone has some sort of digital device that they own and use with the internet regularly. It’s become a daily part of our lives. But the internet can never truly replace libraries.
It could be argued that the internet is much more convenient and, in some ways, it is. The internet holds a seemingly endless amount of information. All you need to do is search for what you want and the information will appear almost instantly. You can find almost anything on the internet, everything from news articles to historical documents to funny video of a hedgehog simultaneously sneezing and farting. But if you have all of this power at your fingertips, what’s the point in a library? Surely, with the internet, they’ve outlived their usefulness?
When you visit a library, you can grab a book off a shelf and open it to find yourself in an entirely different world. That’s the power that books have. They can take you on impossible adventures throughout history and across different worlds. Sure, you could read most of those books digitally, as well, but it’s just not the same.
Additionally, on the internet, you could search for something and get a million different results. It seems like such a great thing to have some much information at your fingertips, but it would then be up to you to dig through it all to find what you actually need. One could easily find themselves lost while wading through the vast sea of information that the internet will present to you. At libraries, everything is organized in a system and can be much easier to find. And if you still find yourself struggling to find that right book, there are also librarians and online databases that can help you find what you want even faster.
Moreover, there’s also reliability to consider. While there may be significantly less information available to you at a library, you can be sure that what you’re reading is accurate and trustworthy. Anyone can post anything on the internet. On some websites, such as Wikipedia, anyone can edit the material and purposefully post misleading information, if they desired. You can always fact-check through other sources, but that just means more work for you. As Neil Gaiman said, “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.”
Libraries are still needed because they’re special. Additionally, even though the internet can be much more convenient, libraries are still the better option. They are more reliable than the internet.