Librarians constantly hear “I just love physical books! So much better than screens!” But here’s the thing: librarians throw away thousands of physical books a year as part of their job. Long thread because I’m day drinking on my day off.
The thing that matters is not the actual physicality of books. It’s what a freely lent book represents! It’s knowledge, entertainment, and safe, indoor space provided free of charge by the entire community for the community’s use. It’s the community providing for its own needs!
I did the math and my library is funded by a $1.61 tax per month per household in my city. For that, hundreds of kids get virtually unlimited access to stories, the internet, kind adults who care about them, etc
So many people (mostly privileged, financially comfortable people) complain to me about how physical books are going away (not true btw) and how the library “just isn’t the same” without thinking about the things they take for granted.
So the next time you think to grouse about kids reading ebooks, or playing roblox on the library computers, or throwing a fit in the lobby, think about what those kids would be doing without the library.
Think about what the library tells kids, poor people, and unhoused people about what the community thinks of them. Is their comfort, fun, and safety worth ten bucks a year to you? Is it really so bad that we throw away a few ratty old books in favor of more space for them?
You can get those books elsewhere. Public libraries are a radical idea that slipped through the screen that usually stops services that benefit the disenfranchised. Don’t take it away because of your aesthetic preferences.
You can follow @malelibrarian.
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