Some people say libraries are going to be obsolete in the future due to the rise in technology and the fact that so many people are using and buying ebooks. I say that going by that alone is showing just how little people know about libraries. Libraries offer more than just a vast collection of books and movies for card-holders to borrow; there is so much more to that.
Libraries nowadays are more like a community center – a place where people can find refuge and use resources they don’t normally have access to. I don’t really need to tell you that you can find at least one student at the library studying at any given time, that’s a pretty obvious answer. You can find at the library, a person who doesn’t have a computer or internet connection at home taking advantage of the library’s network to apply for some jobs or print some documents. A parent will bring their children to the kids’ programs to meet other parents and let their child get some social interaction. The homeless might come into the library to escape the cold or heat, or to use resources not available to them. And something that many libraries now offer is a maker space, where patrons can use 3D-Printers, photo and video editing software, sewing machines, and more.
Another common thought about libraries is that it’s only older adults who utilize these fine buildings. Well, that’s not entirely true. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, libraries are most often used by Millennials (around ages 18-35 or so). Shocking, right? But the numbers are there, and you can’t argue them.
If you think about it, it starts to make sense why this is. We’re at a weird stage in our lives where we’re either students or parents (sometimes both). Again, it’s obvious that students will use the library for a study space, computer use, or research, but for the Millennials who are parents, they want to bring their children to the library to get them into reading or attend the children’s programs. Of course, there’s also the fact that, hey, we just might like to read and not spend all our money on books (not in my case though – Barnes & Noble can have my money!).
I personally use the library for multiple reasons, other than as a place of work, and I’m sure most others do as well. Here are some reasons I use libraries:
- A place to do homework that isn’t distracting
- Check out books
- Quiet place to read
- Check out movies I haven’t seen
- Use their databases for school research
Also, in the past I regularly attended writing workshops my library used to offer, and if I didn’t work during program nights, I’d probably go to some of other programs we have. I’ve probably used the library for other reasons, but those are just the main ones.
So my question to everyone is, why do you use the library?
You can answer in the comments, or you can help me out and take the survey I linked to above that I made on Survey Monkey.