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What are the advantages and the disadvantages of libraries?  

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firasou | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 30, 2011 at 6:29 AM via web

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What are the advantages and the disadvantages of libraries?

 

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 30, 2011 at 6:42 AM (Answer #2)

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I assume that you are asking about the advantages and disadvantages of libraries for patrons of those libraries.  If so, the major advantage is that people can have access to books without paying for them.  The major disadvantags are that the people do not own the books and they cannot determine what books they will be able to get and when they will be able to get them.

Libraries are a wonderful thing for those who want to read books but cannot or do not wish to buy them.  However, they must take whatever books the library decides to acquire and they must be content with using those books only when they are available.

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creativethinking | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted May 31, 2011 at 5:39 AM (Answer #3)

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The very concept of the library, especially the public library, is kind of an amazing one. Think about it: Where else can someone borrow an item of value, with only a card and the promise to return it, for free? Not only that--it actually works! People actually bring library books back! It's a testament to human decency. It seems like it would never work, but libraries have been successful for hundreds of years. People value libraries as enjoyable recreational and academic additions to their communities. A library offers a wealth of resources, space to study or hold events, and a world of books to discover and borrow. And again, I reiterate, for free. They are also places that encourage scholarship and offer a quiet, peaceful place of study, which is tough to find sometimes, particularly in urban areas.

Disadvantages of libraries are, in my mind, few. However, there has been much upheaval in the information sciences since the digital takeover of information. Now that things like music, articles, and books themselves are increasingly appearing in digital form, a place where thousands of hardcopies are housed may soon seem ludicrous. Only time will tell of the new role that libraries will play in the sharing of information. Perhaps the libraries of the future will be computer labs that allow the user to access an e-book for a limited period of time at no charge?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 31, 2011 at 11:55 AM (Answer #4)

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Libraries are, indeed, a sanctuary for valued books such as the classics.  They are also a great resource center with reference works and magazines, music, etc. For those who cannot afford a computer, also, libraries afford people the opportunity to use one and maintain an email, or anything similar.  If a person needs to print out anything or make copies, the library will also provide what the citizen needs.

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lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted June 5, 2011 at 12:07 AM (Answer #5)

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The transformation of the library as technology continues to improve is interesting to me. We have gone from the use of encyclopedias and other reference books to computer labs in the library. I am left wondering how long before many of the stacks of books are replaced with electronic versions to be downloaded to the various technological platforms.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 20, 2011 at 2:29 PM (Answer #6)

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Libraries are expensive to maintain. They have to be staffed and require a lot of real estate to house all those books. Since they are not seen as crucial, they are often the first to fall to the ax of budget cuts. People often say that now that there is technology to do research and read books online, libraries are no longer needed. Yet libraries have always served as a community resource, and an equalizer. People with limited means may not be able to afford a computer with Internet access. Libraries not only give them this, but also have people trained to teach them how to use them. Without this great equalizer, many people would have trouble searching for and getting jobs, doing homework or even going to school.
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lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted June 25, 2011 at 1:05 AM (Answer #7)

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Our local library has never been busier in regards to patron visits and materials loaned out.  This is certainly due, in part, to the weaker economy.  As other posters have noted -- where else can you borrow something for free?  Libraries are a great resource for books -- I love to read and I especially love not feeling obligated to finish every book I start if I don't like it.  I see no point in wasting my time when I didn't pay for the book in the first place; on the other hand, if I actually buy a book, I feel a sense of financial duty to finish it.  I love the wide variety of books and the suggestions made by various librarians.  It is such an easy resource to expand my horizons.  My children do the same as me -- check out several books to give try, but may only end up completing 1 in 5 -- but it one they really enjoyed!

The only downside is the limits on time for checked out materials.  Sometimes I can't finish and must return an item, but I respect that the time limits keep the circulation moving and open up opportunities for more people.

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sanskritibookbound | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted July 2, 2011 at 9:34 PM (Answer #8)

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ok. as a matter of fact, there can be no disandvantage of a library.... what possible harm can a book cause?.... but of course you know that... and as for the advantages, they are many... an increase in knowledge of course, improvement in vocabulary, skills in different languages even, and a knowledge of the world you have not seen and also people you have not met and conditions you have not been into... from fashion magezines to history books to news of the world to stories and fantasies... a well acuiped library has it all...

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William Delaney | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 25, 2013 at 1:11 PM (Answer #9)

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A library is a place to go. It is quiet--or supposed to be. It has big tables and fairly comfortable chairs. It has an atmosphere of studiousness, introspection, meditation, peace of mind. It is a sanctuary. Nobody bothers you--and there are people there to help you if you ask for help. You feel you could find almost anything you wanted for entertainment or enlightenment. You feel that you could make wonderful discoveries of books that will change your life and of authors who will become your friends. It never seems too cold or too warm. The rest of the world seems far away. Everybody in the building seems to be sharing the same secret: This is the best place to be. We are all so lucky to have found it.

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thewanderlust878 | TA , Grade 12 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted December 15, 2014 at 11:29 PM (Answer #10)

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This is definitely a topic that I am slightly biased towards. I love libraries, and books in general, so it is difficult for me to distinguish and acknowledge disadvantages of libraries, but here is my list:

Advantages:

  • easy, (should be) free access to thousands of books 
  • access to educational resources that can be used for school purposes
  • a safe, warm, comforting environment that you can go to to quietly read, do homework, etc

Disadvantages:

  • I cannot think of any

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