A Country Without Libraries

“I heard some politician say recently that closing libraries is no big deal, since the kids now have the Internet to do their reading and school work…Yes, reading books is a slow, time-consuming, and often tedious process. In comparison, surfing the Internet is a quick, distracting activity in which one searches for a specific subject, finds it, and then reads about it—often by skipping a great deal of material and absorbing only pertinent fragments. Books require patience, sustained attention to what is on the page, and frequent rest periods for reverie, so that the meaning of what we are reading settles in and makes its full impact.”

From A Country Without Libraries by Charles Simic in The New York Review of Books


2 responses to “A Country Without Libraries

  1. What a wonderful, truthful comment. Politicians should remember that the children who most need the information and the education available from public libraries are those who don’t have Internet access at school or at home. There are so many other reasons – seniors who use libraries for entertainment, knowledge and social interaction…high school, college and university students…everyday people like me who want to read a book but not necessarily buy it.
    We NEED public libraries. Let your political representatives know.

  2. This post seems prescient in light of the City of Toronto discussions about libraries and other services.

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