Sometimes, when I am talking to people about donating to the new library, an individual will say, "Well, we don't really use the library; we just download the books we need. And, anyway, we won't really need libraries 20 or 30 years from now." There are a lot of things one can say to counter such views, not least that everybody can't just download whatever they need. They may not have the money, or the equipment, or the skill to take that route. They may have 3 or 4 kids who are interested in having dozens of books each. It is really not uncommon in our own library to see a family checking out 15 or 20 books for the kids. And it is certainly not uncommon to see a librarian helping someone learn how to download a library e-book or helping them to use the computers in the library that are available for public use.
And given current trends, it looks like ours will continue to be a society in which many people will continue to need help in these ways. Mark Robbins recently brought an article to my attention. So if you are one of the people who think we aren't going to need libraries in the future, you might want to read it and consider another view.
--Judy Ross, for FOPRL