‘Demanding more than books’

  • Published in Letters

To The Editor:

This is in response to Paul Hanke’s April 20 letter. He raises the question “who needs libraries anyway?” and states that “you can look up almost anything on the internet.” Discerning what information on the internet is trustworthy is too complex of an issue for this letter, so I’ll just say librarian training includes learning how to vet resources and help other people find not just information but accurate information. And libraries carefully select books and subscribe to electronic resources that contain information from reliable sources, which can’t be said for all internet search results.

His comment that “if you absolutely must read a book, why not join the 21st century and buy a Kindle” inspired me to remind people that a library card provides free access to material for Kindles. It also made me want to invite Mr. Hanke to come to the library to see the many things we offer besides books: Attend one of the many presentations and discussions the libraries offer, often through collaborations among all three Valley libraries or other community organizations. If you have kids or grandkids, bring them to Story Hour or to the library after school to do homework or other activities in a safe space. If you need Wi-Fi or to use a computer or iPad, or to print something (even something in 3D at the Warren Library), come to the library. Need help looking something up, formatting a resume, accessing tax forms, filling out unemployment forms? That’s what the library staff is for. Please come in and hopefully you’ll see that when “the citizens of Vermont continue to stubbornly demand library services,” they may be demanding much more than books.

Joy Worland, library director

Joslin Memorial Library

Waitsfield