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Newspapers and Libraries

2010 February 3
by Stanley Quan

Most days of the week, I enjoy flipping open the Daily Cal newspaper and reading about all the happenings involving the people, students, and city of Berkeley. It’s kind of sad to see newspapers and print media starting to die out and give way to electronic versions. I might be among a dwindling few, but I love the experience of feeling the paper in my hands and flipping through it, looking for headlines and images that catch my eye.

Along the same lines, printed literature is fading as well. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of my mom taking me and my brother to storytelling time at my local public library. We would happily listen to the librarian’s books and then run through the library picking out interesting books. Sometimes my mom would have to nag at us a little to leave the library. Imagine that. Throughout my younger school days, we went to the three libraries in my hometown so much that all the city’s librarians recognized us and knew us by name. It’s quite hard to picture a world without them. But I guess that’s the direction the digital age is heading.

To this day, I still enjoy wandering into a library and just reading among the quiet. I know books continue to inspire wonder and imagination in countless kids everyday. If our society must bringĀ  the eventual downfall of libraries, I just hope it doesn’t take all its many stories, history, and imagination with it.

2 Responses
  1. February 3, 2010

    I don’t think libraries will ever die. There’s one thing that you can do in a library that’s difficult to do with downloadable books. Browse.

    Yes, programs may have a browse section, even divided up by genre, but it’s not the same as running your eyes and fingers along the spines of a row of books, looking for a cover or a name that catches your eye and your interest. A random selection function wouldn’t pick the ones you pick. A program that offers suggestions based on your and others’ interests (like Netflix’s recommendations) can’t lead to discoveries and new topics.

    Digital media is great for things like research, but for other reading, I don’t think there will be anything to replace libraries for a long time.

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