I like libraries as well as librarians who are generally some of the nicest, most helpful people I have met. However there is not much of a need for libraries anymore. The internet has more information than all the libraries in the world can provide and is widely available. I know it is not free in most places though like the library. Free is not exactly correct as they are paid for through taxation. Now I am not suggesting hurting poor people by taking away the “free library”. I think it can be done differently if it has to be done at all. It is not only a place to get free books but also a place to get online for free but you do have to drive to the physical location. Why not take the library budget and use it for free wi fi hot spots in the city?
Now I know everyone does not have a computer so free wi fi does not help them. But there are ways to to get this done also. OLCP is one avenue but there could be plenty more ideas and I am not suggesting giving out free computers through taxes. I think most taxes are unnecessary but I don’t have time to delve into that. Another point is that not everyone uses the library currently so not everyone should get a computer just because they cannot afford one. Separating people in search of knowledge from people looking for a handout is a task indeed. Maybe local business could sponsor kids or a single mother to get a computer in exchange for some volunteer work in the future. The point is a centralized location for knowledge is an outdated idea so other ways of accessing that information has to be achieved.
We live right behind our library and rarely visit it. We get online everyday. That may be different if they had more current books but that is likely a problem in most small towns. If there was free wi fi in our miniscule town we could save $40 per month. At least then we would get something for our taxes. I just think more people would benefit from free wi fi than currently do from brick & mortar libraries. If I could save $480 per year on internet service then I would gladly contribute (voluntarily) a percentage to a fund for the less fortunate in my town to get low cost computers. I put a link to a library website with a study showing increased use at libraries but the study was done by The American Library Association so take it with a grain of salt. If I ran a bakery & did a study on whether cakes were necessary or not, do you think the result would benefit me?