“The Return of Libraries”

On Friday March 23rd, this segment about “The Return of Libraries” ran on CBS’s The Early Show with anchors Harry Smith and Susan McGuinnis. You can view the video clip online.

ALA President Leslie Burger is featured in this news piece about public libraries, which does a good job of showing the general public what modern libraries are like.

Librarians will probably not be pleased, however, with Harry Smith’s take on libraries, “…back in the 20th century a library card was your ticket to read everything that was ever published. Now you can do that on the Internet of course.” Librarians may want to alert Harry to the fact that “everything that was ever published” is not available on the Internet. The last time I saw a stat it was more like 10-15% of the world’s knowledge was on the Internet. Also lacking in this story was any discussion about how crucial libraries are in poorer communities. The reporter basically asked, why use the library when you can just go to Borders instead or access the Internet from your PDA? Reporters often overlook the fact that there are millions of Americans without Internet access at home or the income and proximity to mega bookstores.

If you want to share your thoughts about the article, just go to CBS.com and click on “contact us” at the bottom of the page.
-Beth Yoke

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