Are libraries still relevant?The Internet and computers have made information available with a few key strokes. Do we still need brick-and-mortar libraries with all the technology available to us?

Expert Answers
wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yes, we still need libraries.  While many people have access to books and information through technology, not everyone does.  Not everything is in digital format either.  Some research requires one to visit the archives and dig through material that has not been put into digital format.  Libraries house so many forms of information besides just books.  These buildings also serve many other purposes besides just housing books.  Children can't glean the same learning from a video that they get from Library Story Hour or Music and Movement classes.  Students can't get the same study-friendly environment without the library.  No matter what technological marvels appear, I think Libraries will always be necessary.

rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Many people do not have access to the internet at all, and for them, libraries are an alternative to the so-called "internet cafes" that have popped up in just about every vacant storefront these days. Much is digitized these days, but much is not, and libraries still house much of this material. I think there is much to the argument for a quiet setting for reading- this is true of public libraries as well as most university libraries, many of which have "silent floors" today. In the future, I see brick and mortar academic libraries becoming more specialized, i.e. moving toward archival collections.

lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I can't imagine not being able to go the library. My kids live for it! They are exposed to thousands of books that would not be available to them anywhere else. We have stumbled into some new authors that then kept us hooked with other titles for months. Our library is working very hard to stay relevent. It just remodeled to create a "cool space" for teens; it is allowing beverages; it is loaning out video games! It is a great deal when I can say "find three books you can read and 1 thing for "fun" be it a game, a video, a play-away book on tape device, etc."

readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yes, libraries are still essential. For serious research in many fields, libraries are still very important. For all the materials that have digitized, there are many millions of works that have not been put into digital format. For example, many historical works have not been put into digital format. So, people still need to go to libraries to physically to look up information. In addition, libraries are a great place to get work done without distractions.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

All of the information that's available to us isn't necessarily free.  Therefore, libraries are still relevant.  Maybe not for research so much anymore, but for kids.  If I had to buy every book my kids check out and read, I'd be broke.  That, of course, is even more true for people who don't have much money.  So I think that libraries are still pretty important for allowing kids (and adults) to be able to afford to read books.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Most libraries have modernized their approach to providing material to students and the public. Computer stations (for people who do not have readily available internet access) are common, and music and videos are now part of most libraries. Libraries still provide a quiet place of solitude to study and research, so they are still an important part of schools and communities.

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I believe that libraries are still relevant. In times like today, where it is hard to find a place to escape from all of the noise, a library is a place where one can find the silence needed for true academia. Outside of that, the research librarians have saved my life more than once. Without their help, I would not have been able to find the material I needed.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think libraries in the way that they were originally created are becoming rather obsolete. However, what libraries need to do is update themselves in terms of the services that they offer, and perhaps move away from acting in traditional ways and offer more online services or book ordering rather than holding on to hard copies of lots of texts.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Absolutely.  Internet-based research is often the default for many students, but often times, text-based approaches are still a more efficient use of time, and tend to be more accurate than what is on the web.  Libraries have updated to include technology, and the ability to search library databases and collections is easier than ever.

bhawanipur | Student

Library is still relevant in the third world countries. Many poor students from the most rural areas have got no fecilities like computers and internet. For example- I have a broadband connection at home but there is no possibility in my college established in most rural area. Now only internet can be used with the help of modem but hardly we find network. In these areas books are very essntial to be kept in libraries for stuents. Moreover, there are students who cannot buy magazines-weekly,fortnightly or annual. So they can get help from the libraries. May be after five years all will have the above, yet some books won't be available in net.