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The whole "Oooh! Libraries are OBSOLETE, the world is DIGITAL now!" thing bugs me for four reasons.

(1) You know a lot of people actually like books that you can hold in your hand, right? And that there exist large numbers of books that ONLY exist in that format and haven't been digitized yet?
(2) Libraries have often been the centers of digitization efforts. Yes, you can find ancient papyri online. This is largely because of efforts like the one at the papyrology department at the University of Michigan library. The same is true of a bunch of other things.
(3) A lot of people have a library involved in their digital explorations, whether using machinery and connections AT the library because all they have is a phone, say, and perhaps a heavily metered connection, to access subscription only databases and archives, and to get help with research.
(4) They provide nuclei for community interaction, often around topics that improve people's relationship with knowledge.

@Azure public libraries are the most (financially and physically) accessible means of continuing education and also increasingly serve as "community halls" and even maker spaces of sorts.

The city where I live just opened the new central branch library last year and it's like they have everything there and "oh we happen to lend books too"

calgarylibrary.ca/central-libr

@Azure And what do you do if the DRM server fails? No books to read anymore, cause a lot of them have DRM locks.

@Azure
Libraries also frequently have digital stuff to lend out, not just books!
I hear some have 3D printers!

@Freyaday Our local library will let you borrow a theremin :)

@Azure The poet and translator John Ciardi phrased reason number 4 as a rallying cry back in the stultifying 1950s: "The library is Human Headquarters."

@Azure Not to mention that a librarian's job is to preserve knowledge for mellenia to come. Even if everything was digital, that's still a vital job.

Also that's why libraries might digitize books: to provide another way to preserve them.

@Azure Also its a lot harder to edit/censor a physical document that's already been printed as opposed to a digital document.

Same reason i still buy dvds/blue rays; if netflix or whatever decide they dont like that film anymore POOF! its gone for good (happened to 2 of my fav animated films); a physical copy has its original content forever (or at least until it degrades).

@Azure (ok i should really say "edit/censor without getting caught")

@tokky That's the same reason I go in seriously for streamripping.

@Azure all very good points. I don't think they'll be obsolete, but I do worry people will try to monetize them. what's your take on that?

@Freechman It'd probably be pretty hard to pull off. None of the staff would be interested, as far as I know.

And Amazon is going to be better at being Amazon, so you'd probably lose.

@Azure
Since I live in a very privileged towel my local library does have books add an online database of even more pups, will watch super interesting and very much needed to people that are like build model houses and whatnot, they have a 3D printer that they rent out to the community for free.

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