How Technology is Impacting Information Gathering & Storing – Is This the End of Traditional Libraries, Bookstores, and Newspapers

What is a library? Merriam-Webster says that a library is a place in which literary, musical, artistic, or reference materials (as books, manuscripts, recordings, or films) are kept for use but not for sale, which is very true. Libraries do loan out books, manuscripts, films and so on to patrons on a daily basis, but that is not all a library does. They are centers of knowledge and learning and do more than just loan out books. They can serve as a place for people to escape from the world or to receive help for a problem they may be having. And at the backbone of every library is its librarians and library assistants. They are the people that help the patrons access all the knowledge that is held in a library. They do everything from helping you find a book to helping someone file for unemployment. Libraries are not just places for books anymore, they are a place that people can go to use the computer if they don’t have one or a safe place for teens to hang out while they wait on their parents to get off work. That’s how libraries have changed so far. They have gone from just loaning out books and movies to helping entire communities adapt to a more digital age.
In today’s world, we use computers, tablets, and smart phones to do the majority of our reading and studying, and some would say that because of this, libraries might go extinct. But I say nay! I believe that libraries will evolve and adapt to this age of smart devices. There are a couple cases of libraries already doing just that. A brand new library just opened up in Bexar County, Texas and it is an all-digital library named the BiblioTech. Another example is in Washington, D.C. where the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library’s Digital Commons has outdone itself in what could very well be the future of libraries. So what is the difference between these new digital libraries and the traditional ones? Well for one, these new digital libraries do not have to wait to get new material. If someone comes in with a request for a book, they can just add the book to the collection immediately rather than order a copy and wait for it to come in. Also, you don’t have to worry about returning books on time. Once your rental period ends on the book you downloaded, it just stops. No need to worry about those silly fines ever again. These digital libraries may eventually become the norm, but probably not for a while. Believe it or not, there are still many books that are not online, one example would be school text books.
Libraries are a great part of our culture and they help many different people in a myriad of ways. In this ever changing world we live in I believe that they can adapt and possibly even evolve into something that may be extraordinary.

Works Cited
Cottrell, Megan. “Paperless Libraries.” American Libraries Magazine. American Libraries Magazine, Sept.-Oct. 2013. Web. 17 Sept. 2013.
Peterson, Andrea. “The Digital Age Is Forcing Libraries to Change. Here’s What That Looks Like.” The Washington Post, 7 Aug. 2013. Web. 17 Sept. 2013.
Webster, Noah. “Library.” Def. 1. New Collegiate Dictionary. A Merriam-Webster. Springfield, MA: G. & C. Merriam, 1953. Web. .