657-admin - 02.08.18

Put THAT in a book, baby!

Forbes: Amazon should replace local libraries

Even if their books can tug on your emotional strings, libraries themselves seldom do. Unless someone threatens them. So guess what just happened.

The internet came alive after Panos Mourdoukoutas argued on Forbes that local libraries should shut down for the common good, and let Amazon open their own bookstores in all local communities:

At the core, Amazon has provided something better than a local library without the tax fees. This is why Amazon should replace local libraries. The move would save taxpayers money and enhance the stockholder value of Amazon all in one fell swoop.

Under threat: Your local library. (Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash)

Fast Company: Not so darn fast!

Immediately, Twitter rallied to the libraries’ side with such a fervor that Forbes deleted the original post. Fast Company has collected some of the epic Twitter slams, pointing out the immense value libraries serve local communities besides free books, free internet. They are hubs community events, adult learning classes and job training:

Taschen: These libraries are here to stay!

Libraries are also architectural monuments to learning, many pointed out. Florence-based photographer Massimo Listri show us how in his new book “The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries” on Taschen, in which he travels to “some of the oldest and finest libraries around the world to celebrate their architectural and historical wonder”. The book has Fast Company declare: “Sorry, Amazon: These gorgeous libraries are here to stay”

Not over yet. The internet stood up for its libraries as local hubs of knowledge and historical monuments of understanding that Amazon cannot challenge. (Image courtesy of Massimo Listri/Taschen)

The Conversation: Libraries about books, not business

Still, “the reality is that libraries need to step up their digital game in a big way if they are to see a future”, argues Anthony Mandal in an op-ed on The Conversation. Mandal has analysed the predicaments of many modern libraries in the age of the internet, as they’re threatened by the demands of business-minded politicians and others. We shouldn’t view libraries as a business:

Aspirations of the libraries of previous centuries must be rekindled – we must move away from policies determined by a business case that determines whether libraries should be axed or saved. It is the duty of today’s councils, as our civic representatives, to reposition libraries once again as places of inspiration, imagination, education and enfranchisement.

The Library of Birmingham. It’s the UK’s 10th most most popular tourist destination, but is struggling to deliver on traditional business goals. (Photo: Shutterstock)