More people in the United States use libraries than the internet. While the web is commonly referred to as the repository of all human knowledge, most books have yet to be digitized. This infographic seemed like a great follow up to my “Is Print Dead” infographic. Not only do libraries provide access to tons of books that are out of print, hard to find, or out of your price range but they provide internet access to those who couldn’t afford it. They give computer access to students who need to type their papers but don’t have the means.
My local library allows me to browse and reserve books online. Then I can just go to the front desk, show my library card and walk out with a pile of free books. That always seemed pretty neat and convenient. It’s Netflix for books. If they delivered them to my door, that would be better. But that probably wouldn’t be free. Do you think libraries are important? How do you use the library? And what can we do to save them and make them more relevant?
Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.