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Libraries past, present and future

Updated on December 30, 2014

Libraries past, present and future

Are libraries still relevant in today's high tech world? This article attempts to answer this question.


I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.

— Jorge Luis Borges

Libraries- a portal through time - A Brief History of Libraries

The first libraries consisted of archives in the form of clay tablets, discovered in Sumen date back to 2600 BC. Sumen marked a turning point in prehistory changing the world into one of history. The first libraries were found in classical Greece and date back to the 5th century BC and. In their beginning, libraries were meant to be collections of information to be referred to and passed down through the ages. The continuation of knowledge is directly and greatly responsible for every great achievement in human history.

The Modern Library

There are now more than 22 000 libraries found in Canada. 24 million reference questions have been answered and 240 million items are borrowed every year (not including electronic self help services.) 2/3 of Canadians hold a library card.

The library enables intercultural services and open communication.

Types of Libraries

National Libraries

Research Libraries

Reference Libraries

Academic Libraries

Children's Libraries

Special Libraries

Public Libraries

Library card

Do you have a library card?

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A Library's Worth

Ever wonder if you’re getting your money’s worth from your library membership? What exactly are you paying for? Check out http://www.ilovelibraries.org/getinformed/getinvolved/calculator nifty tool will estimate how much a family or single user would spend on books, movies, audio books, etc. Simply enter data like how many hardcover books you have borrowed in the past year, paperback books borrowed, movies and magazines borrowed, etc. Then click calculate the value of your library use and see how much you are saving! For example, if you borrow 5 hardcover books in one year, you have saved about $175!

But there are other factors to consider. One factor is customer service. How many times have you needed a book recommendation? Perhaps you just wanted to discuss the latest book you read. Or maybe when trying to put a book on hold, your computer grew a mind of its own and deleted your account. Whatever problem, librarians are there to help you and are always willing to talk books.

The Future Library

The future of libraries are unknown, although we can infer that the use of technology is imminent.

In Ray Bradbury's novel "Fahrenheit 451", depicts a future society where books are outlawed and where houses with books are burned. It is a story of censorship where technology is used to influence society and suppress individualism. But this goes against libraries primary goal of individualism and spreading knowledge.

But what if you don't like reading? Libraries have a large selection of children and adult DVDs to choose from. Many libraries also offer language software, audiobooks, genealogy software and much more. And in today's forward moving, paperless market, Ebooks are all the rage. Most libraries have a lending program for those too!

Whatever program, you will find a use for your library.

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    • jgshorebird profile image

      Jack Shorebird 2 years ago from Southeastern U.S.

      The libraries near me in a Semi-Rural area of Central Florida are not large (except for the Orlando, FL one) but do have a good selection. Many books are quite old, but there are many new ones. As for the movies, CD's, DVD's and so on - the selection is there, but often you are unable to play them due to damage. Our libraries here are tax supported, so few care about the quality or the service. Often the bookstores are far superior - even the used book stores - than most libraries here. And they serve with a smile and often good coffee.