21 Nov 2013

A LIBRARY CAN BE REPLACED BY AN E-READER AS MUCH AS .......

 Aggghhhh!

...... So, Terry Deary, author of the Horrible Histories books, thinks its a good idea to hand out free e-readers to the 'impoverished', that it would be a 'hell of a lot cheaper' than keeping libraries open. Libraries after all being places that must 'move with the times',that have to 'modify' in order to survive by becoming part of the electronic age.

I'm sorry Mr Deary but I can't help but wonder when was the last time you where in a library?

Living in an area with high levels of unemployment and one of the highest populations of elderly people in the north east of England, our library is open from nine 0' clock through to 5.00 (5.30 on a Friday) and as well as 'tree books'  has a wide range of audio books, DVD's and, yes Mr Deary, even digital books not to mention the use of computers, a selection of newspapers AND several readers groups, one of them offering a reading scheme for children.

So far from not keeping up with the times, the library offers something no e-reader can - a sense of community - just valuable to the 'impoverished' don't you think?

Not that, as the ARTICLE goes on to point out, the author is saying close all libraries. No, as he says (and I quote) 'If there's a problem of poor people - and I'm not picking on them particularly - having access to books, is there a better way of doing it than a library." 

Hmm, interesting.

For as Mark Taylor from the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals said (and I agree with him) .....

"A library can be replaced by an e-reader as much as a playground can be replaced by a PlayStation".

What thinks you?


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14 comments:

Camila Rafaela Felippi said...

Omg! Libraries are everything for me. In Brazil (at least in my region) the people don't use e readers. I never saw and I wouldn't like to use, because I love books a looot. It's so... magic when you open the book, see the papers and read!

Kelly said...

As much as I love my Kindle, I think this is a CRAZY idea! There are so many reasons a real place with real books can't be replaced by something that has to be plugged in and charged up.

Bad Alice said...

Oh dear, I do hope all those "poor people" have great Internet access so they can download all those e-books. Oh, and I hope that all the books they could possibly want will actually be available as e-books - free e-books. The last time I checked my library did not have a digital version of the encyclopedia, or an atlas, or pretty much any reference book. One thing I do know is that our local library provides free Internet access and access to computers, as well as a place for students to do their homework. I imagine some of those students are there specifically because they don't have computers or the Internet at home. Heck, you can even borrow and e-reader from my library. Lots of homeschooling moms rely on our libraries for learning materials (helpfully grouped in special packs for just that purpose). The librarians don't just check out books - they can provide guidance. Libraries offer so much besides books to the community. I can't imagine not having a local library.

So many books, so little time said...

I had a poor upbringing and a ereader would not have helped. It would have been sold. The library offered somewhere to go and get education, warmth, positive and happy interactions with other adults who loved having young minds to feed.

Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

Literary Feline said...

Well, that's quite an assertion! I think your response, Tracy, is perfect. And I also agree with Alice.

What a sad day it would be if libraries didn't exist. They provide a community service like no other, and I can't see a simple e-reader stepping in to take its place.

Suko said...

Libraries are wonderful entities-- sanctuaries, meeting places, and so much more. Ereaders have their place, of course, but not as a replacement for libraries. Never!

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I just wanted to add my vote and voice to everything which has already been said by others.

I appreciate that Mark Taylor may have a vested interest in keeping libraries open, however his quote was a well considered, appropriate and suitably scathing response to the 'Horrible' Mr. Deary.

Thanks for discovering this little gem of hidden news, even though it has temporarily put up the old blood pressure a few notches!

Yvonne

Gina R said...

Here here! I am a lifelong visitor to our local library....and not even for checking out books as much in recent times! I go for the wifi. I go for the bookish escape. I go for the environment, the access and as you said, community. Closing libraries? Ugh! Who IS this person?

Brandi Kosiner said...

I don't know, I love paper books but I am really reading the majority on my ereader now. But I do love that quote.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Um... here is the thing... if someone is impoverished, they usually don't have their own comp. Still would have to go to the library to refill the books of their choice. Tells me this is the idea of someone who has no idea what it is like to worry about if they are going to eat that day or not. :-/

StarTraci said...

I love my library! In fact, I am headed to mine now. A library is so much more than a holder of books. It's part of the community.
:-)
Traci

Brian Joseph said...

Really great points Tracy.


Deary's comments are silly and not thoughtful but they do bring up an issue. How will libraries be different as the world changes? I have been giving this a little thought. As more and more people are using E - Readers and even downloading video and audio content I think that the role of the library will certainly evolve. Though I fear for the future of the traditional library I do not think that they can ever go away. They will change however. Exactly how they will be different I am not entirely sure.

Heather said...

Librarians are wonderful resources and can be a great influence on a person open to learning.

I read elsewhere, that Mr. Deary doesn't want his books in libraries as he doesn't make as much money from them as he would if people had to purchase their own copies. I suspect he wants them to be given ereaders, so they will have to buy his books. I got a very poor impression of him and refuse to buy any of his books for my nephew.

Alexia561 said...

While eReaders have their place, I don't think that anything could replace a library! Mr. Deary is an idiot.