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Libraries are out of date. They are full of books that are out of date. The books contain facts and information that is out of date.

Walk into any school library. Yes, the room is bright and colourful and warm – and schools try hard to spice up the space with things like beanbags and pretty displays – but then look at the shelves. Ask yourself: how many of those books have been read recently? Or, how many of those books have actually been read? Like, ever?

Schools spend thousands of dollars every year on books for their libraries. So, on the shelves are probably tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars worth of books that barely get looked at. Every year more books get bought, and older ones get thrown away to make room for them.

If that doesn’t tell you about the value of books, then nothing will. In other words, books are simply taking up shelf space just waiting until it’s their turn to get chucked out – waiting for their time to be worthless. Yep, libraries are nothing more than rooms full of things waiting to get thrown away.

The internet. Now there’s a thing. Schools are slowly playing catch-up with the rest of the world. The internet gives students – you – access to constantly changing, constantly updating information. It’s accurate, it’s fast, and it comes from all over the world. Facts can easily be checked quickly (no need to rely on just one published-last-century book for past-its-sell-by-date information) and compared with other online sources. And, in many cases, experts can be emailed directly for additional information or confirmation.

Many hundreds of years ago, libraries were like the internet. Libraries were the internet. Each town had one. if you were lucky you had one in your own school. They were the place to go to find information; libraries stored information. The world changed more slowly, discoveries happened more slowly, news travelled more slowly. Libraries, as a storehouse of human knowledge, could keep up.

But the world has changed. Libraries are nothing more than an out-of-date extra space that can be used for other things.

We don’t need libraries; we need faster Wi-Fi.

Article written by Ben Egerton

This is an opinion-based article designed to provoke debate, discussion and further inquiry
amongst your students:

Critical Thinking Challenges:

  1. ‘We don’t need libraries; we need faster Wi-Fi.’ Do you agree that the internet can replace what libraries give us? 
  2. Is the library just an extra room that can be used for other things?
  3. How can students be encouraged to make greater use of the school library?
  4. Do you think that schools are generally slow to adopt (take on) what the rest of the world is already doing – like using the internet, computers in classrooms, online learning, working from home?

Practical Tasks:

  1. Write a similar article, but from the other point of view. Defend libraries.
  2. Go and talk to your school or local librarian. How many books are taken out? Are there books that have never been borrowed? Create a campaign to encourage more students to make use of the library?

Have Your Say:

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24 Responses

  1. I think down because if you don’t read the more things you don’t know

  2. GO LIBRARIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. What if you have a History project and went to the library looking for information for it and all the books with the information you needed had been chucked out. Plus, not all books in libraries are wastes of space! Majority are stories. Libraries are fine the way they are. Anyway, our world now days consists of internet and gadgets, I think we are using them enough already!!!

  4. Your forgetting history books, those will never be out of date. The past never changes, it just gets bigger. And fantasy novels can’t be called out of date either, they are make believe, in a make believe universe, with make believe styles and make believe times.

  5. lets just leave libarys where they are and leave it for the people who like to read in the libary cos we dont have to distroy something others enjoy

  6. Libraries rock and I think we should respect that money used for information in books.

  7. libraries do need a bit of modern technology. my brother Osonto hates libraries but i just think they need a bit of remodelling and up to date books

  8. If you think the internet can replace books then you’ve got another thing coming, there is and never will be anything better than books. SO THERE!

  9. I DISAGREE! I think that libraries are useful because you could find out more about history since the books are “out of date”. Also there are narratives that you can enjoy reading instead of finding out information. Books are ALSO better for your eyesight! When you are on the internet at night, it causes you to get hardly ANY sleep cause your brain thinks it’s day!

  10. Hey! Libraries are AWESOME! How dare you offend libraries! Go Libraries! ??????????❤️

  11. if libraries spend so much money on books, then how could every one of them possibly be out of date? I mean, think about it…

  12. books are good to learn with especily when there about good stuff. Gotta read them all.

  13. man libarys are BEAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! how dare you, books are fun to read without books there is no fun in life .

  14. when you read something from a book you get this special sense of warmth and comfort and you feel transported somewhere else. When you read online the bright screen stops you from feeling the feeling. long live books!!!!!!!!!!!!

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