Are libraries dead?


I remember as a kid, I practically lived in the library. It was awesome. There was a whole world at my fingertips – I lie. Not a world, but numerous worlds, plenty of universes waiting to suck me in.

I was in and out of the library every few days. By the time I was eleven or twelve, I had reread every book in the Children’s Section twice. It was intense. They did me a favour, and gave me a card to the Adult Section – that meant new books, longer lending periods and more books that I could borrow at a time. Let me tell you, I was like a kid in a candy store. There was so much new opportunity that needed to be taken advantage of. The excitement fueled me, and this is where my deep love affair with Stephen King began.

I was always thrilled when it was time to return books and gather a backpack full of new ones, new adventures. But times have changed a lot. Libraries here are starting to die out. The one here in my town is so damn useless I just don’t go. I don’t even have a card for it. So now it is book club style: borrowing and lending between the few readers that I know. That can help, but when that is over? I miss libraries… the smell of the old books, the new ones, the fastidiously stacked and alphabetized shelves and the librarian looking over her glasses, scanning your card and asking how the latest haul’s reading was for you.

Because of the dwindling state of the libraries, I have taken to building up my own collection. Which I would do anyway, and I have no issue paying, it is just expensive, and time consuming. Ultimately it is extremely gratifying, and I love it. But I get nostalgic when I think of what reading used to be. At least if the zombie apocalypse breaks out, I have the one greatest form of entertainment (except staying alive!) at my disposal, and trust me, it will be utilized in all its glory.

How are libraries there by you? Are they still alive and kicking, or are they, too, flailing in the deepening waters?