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.
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:
Let me clarify something. If the *only* thing my local library did was help a domestic violence victim find information on the nearest shelter, I’d gladly pay double what you in taxes a year. And yeah, libraries do that sort of thing.
— Marziah (@marziah) 23. juli 2018
Libraries are the last public spaces in society where there’s no pay to play. They are the peoples’ universities. Equalizers.
Small business and nonprofits launch from there. And no one is required to bring money to participate. Libraries make our communities stronger. Shoo.
— Katie (@kejtia) 23. juli 2018
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”
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.