Posted by: bluesyemre | July 18, 2022

Libraries are about ‘people, not books’ as they survive and thrive in digital age

Chris Jones has worked in libraries for decades and says they are thriving.(ABC Mid North Coast: Emma Siossian)

Librarian Chris Jones remembers being warned in the late 1980s — just as the internet was emerging — that libraries would be “dead in five years”.

But despite advances in technology and the emergence of the digital age, he said libraries were thriving as people changed the way they used them.

Mr Jones said libraries were “here to stay” because they were about so much more than the books.

He said respondents to a survey done in 2000 found safety and social connection were the main things they got from libraries.

“We also did a survey in 2019 and asked people to, in one word or sentence, say what their library meant to them,” he said.

He said the one that struck him the most was “an end to my loneliness”.

“Libraries are about people, not books, they are about a safe, socially inclusive space where people can interact,” Mr Jones said.

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