Friday, July 23, 2010

The Next Big Trend: Libraries

by Rachel

I’ve always been a fan of libraries. As a child, school holidays in the summer time meant keeping occupied, and keeping occupied meant either going to the beach, or visiting the library. As I’ve grown older, my love of visiting the library is still there, and one of the first things I did after moving to New York (and after exhausting myself by visiting every possible tourist trap) was to sign up at the library.

Linda Holmes’ NPR article gives us a few more reasons to love libraries and why she thinks they’re the next big pop-culture wave. But, with libraries starting to go bookless these days, do you agree they could still make a big come back? And if so, can you add to Linda Holmes’ list of reasons why?

PS: The Librarians Do Gaga video is mentioned in this article – if you haven’t seen it, check it out!


  1. Since I am currently in school working towards my Masters in Library and Information Science, so hope this is the case!

  2. Libraries are no longer just a quiet building full of books and shushing women with too-tight buns and an infinite supply of cardigans. They offer computer and internet service to people who would not have access otherwise. They assist the thousands of Americans who are out of work in their attempts to find a job. They have programs for people of all ages that promote information, literacy, and a sense of community. Yes, things will change as technology advances, but libraries have been there before. I mean, when is the last time you flipped through an honest-to-God card catalog? Many libraries already offer the choice of checking out e-books, and I'm sure many more will in the coming years. We will become a place for people who cannot afford an e-reader to get access to a Kindle or Nook or whatever new, better device comes around. And we'll always have our books, because those will never die.

    Plus, we're cool like cupcakes. And, like cupcakes, even when we're not the trendiest thing in the world, we'll still be around to make people happy.

    [Side note: I lied. Most of us do have an infinite supply of cardigans.]

  3. Yes, Rachel!

    Just the thought of my hometown library, Lovell Public Library, my heart leaps (and my grade school library)! Pushing through the clear glass doors, my shoulders sore because my backpack is overladen with last week’s choices. The smell of books. The cold water of the drinking fountain on my lips. The great lady librarian sitting at the desk. Oh, the miles upon miles of shelves. Running my fingers along the spines. Riffling the deckled edges. Collecting ten or fifteen books and finding the very back corner hidden among the shelves and just reading the world away. We lived 25 miles out of town on a ranch, and my mom would make it a point to drop us off there when she could. Also, the laundramat was just a couple of blocks away, so I always hoped that Mom would do laundry during library hours. Now, going back, it’s just a small brick building with just two connected rooms of shelves. But to me then it was the world!

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  5. I owe my hometown libraries, well, not everything, but just about. They were academy and social/political salon, all in one. I look back and think I must have been there every day, but I am sure I wasn't. Maybe I simply would have preferred being there every day. The entire experience was so tactile, both with the books and the people. As much as I love the new social media and electronic readers, there was something delightful about gathering with friends at those sometimes musty libraries which the new media cannot replicate.

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