More Than Books: The Value of a Library
On Saturday, July 21, LIU Post economics professor and Forbes contributing writer Panos Mourdoukoutas published a piece entitled Amazon Should Replace Local Libraries to Save Taxpayers Money. The title is self-explanatory: he proposes the elimination of in communities and the creation of Amazon book stores in their place, on the grounds of reducing taxes that contribute to public services and allowing new avenues for corporations to increase earnings.
Forbes deleted the post by the following Monday due to the controversy it caused. Librarians and patrons alike had taken to the Internet to let Mourdoukoutas that he might want to investigate what it is that libraries actually have to offer. Their responses often listed resources that are available to all but are most useful for people who cannot afford them on their own, like help with language acquisition and career readiness. Libraries also come equipped with library and information science professionals (and provide experience for professionals in training -- like myself!) to assist with research and information literacy.
In the timeless words of LeVar Burton, you don't have to take my word for it! Here are some of the responses to Mourdoukoutas' writing that provide a librarian's-eye view on the situation: