Have Libraries Had Their Day?

I dearly love the library. I go to my local library at least two times a week. I go to the Hershey library over the summer for their reading program. But I’ve also been to the Mount Joy library to borrow books and go see an author. I’ve been to the Middletown library for a ghost tour they do since the place is haunted and their annual book sale. And I go to every library book sale I know about. I get books I want and it helps support the libraries.

I got my first library card when I was 13, I believe. There are three books I remember borrowing after getting my first library card: After The First Death by Robert Cormier, Incident at Loring Groves by Sonia Levitin and The Boy on the Cover by Phoebe Matthews. All the books I enjoyed, Incident at Loring Groves becoming a favorite and not too long after borrowing those books, I bought a book called Tenderness by Robert Cormier.

And of course, over the many years that I’ve used the library, I have discovered many authors that have become favorites. For example, Diana Wynne Jones. I borrowed Howl’s Moving Castle from Hershey library in May of 2009 and a month later, I went to Borders to buy my own copy and another books of hers. Through the library I have also discovered Lois Duncan, Joan Lowery Nixon, Betty Ren Wright and many others. I also own books by them now.

So I couldn’t imagine my life without the library.

However, a few months ago I read an article about author Terry Deary. He is the author of Horrible Histories books. I have heard his books are good and thought at some point that I would read a few. But Mr. Deary believes that libraries have had their day. He thinks they have been around too long and are no longer relevant.

He said that he is not attacking libraries, but rather, the concept behind libraries. He said that because it’s been 150 years (the UK first got free public libraries in 1850) and people think they are entitled to free books at the expense of authors, publishers and tax payers. To read the rest of the article click here.

I don’t know much about Terry Deary and I haven’t read any of his books. But I do know many authors in the UK have been trying to save their libraries there. Philip Pullman is one of the authors helping to save the libraries in the UK.

But it has been similar here in Pennsylvania. Some libraries have lost funding, some have even closed. My local library has lost quite a bit of funding, but they seem to be doing okay, thanks to the library patrons going to their coffee shop, book sales, renting new DVDs and many other things they do to raise money. Middletown lost funding from their borough because the borough thinks the library should be sufficient.

As a reader and a writer, I love the library. It’s been a place for me to go and spend the day, a place for me to find many wonder books and authors, a place for me to go to events and even meet authors. I truly think libraries are important and as someone who is writing a book trilogy, I know when they are published, I would love for my books to go into libraries. Would people be reading my books for free? Of course, but it would also be a way for people to discover my books. I could get fans and sales that way. I know I’ve bought many books from authors I originally discovered from borrowing their books at the library.

To me, libraries are amazing places, places of discovery and knowledge. If libraries were to disappear, I do not think it would be a good thing. I hope that there will always be libraries around.

What is your opinion of what Terry Deary said? Have libraries had their day? Is it time for them to go?


One response to “Have Libraries Had Their Day?

  1. Pingback: Neil Gaiman Lecture On Books And Libraries | CherokeeWriter:

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