Why Libraries Matter
May 17, 2014 7:41 PM   Subscribe

A day in the life of New York City's public libraries: Traveling from borough to borough, this short documentary by Julie Dressner and Jesse Hicks reveals just how important the modern library is for millions of people. Why Libraries Matter.
posted by cashman (6 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Government schools, government libraries, government health care…are we living in Sweden? (Sadly, no, but librarians, teachers and health care workers are doing what they can.)
posted by kozad at 8:05 PM on May 17, 2014

"Are you even listening to yourself?! You’re defending the library now?! Ron, the library. Of all the horrifying, miserable things in the world."
posted by Talez at 8:27 PM on May 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

I guess. I've seen more artistic and compelling segments on CBS Sunday morning. Preaching to the Atlantic's already convinced choir.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:28 PM on May 17, 2014

The public library saved my ass when I was unemployed and broke and on the edge of panic, one summer in the 90's. I felt safe and capable of action when I was there, which is not how I felt in my one-room bunker, littered with unopened bills and beer cans. It had everything I needed to take action - computers for email and job listings, all the newspapers. When it came time for avoidance of reality, it had more constructive ways to do that than beer, like sitting in a chair and quietly reading.
posted by thelonius at 8:38 PM on May 17, 2014 [9 favorites]

In December, she went to a public library in Lawrence, Kansas. She was looking through books on philosophy and religion, and it struck her that people had devoted their entire lives to studying these questions of how to live and what is right and wrong. “The idea that only WBC had the right answer seemed crazy,” she says. “It just seemed impossible.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:58 PM on May 17, 2014 [4 favorites]

The public library saved my ass when I was unemployed and broke and on the edge of panic
This is all I've ever needed to know to support libraries, besides the original love of books and reading and library exploration and media being available to everyone, and pretty much having grown up in various libraries (whether wandering around as a kid, taking college courses in the basement, participating in poetry contests, or being a part of a young adult library club).

Media is openly available on the internet, but you either need money to buy the electronics to obtain that media...or free computer access. Not everyone can even commit funds for time in a pay-for style computer center/lab. This is also one of the only reasons, other than purposeful/accidental mass loss, that I'm concerned about moving to digital-only media; you can easily come upon free books that only require your eyes to get info from, but you don't just "happen upon" free* or low price digital copies of, say, study books for the GED.

*Insert your own debate about free library books vs. pirated digital books and the moral relativism therein. Either way, you need something electronic to access the digital.
posted by DisreputableDog at 7:47 AM on May 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

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