What are the most important services a library offers?
What services would your ideal local public library offer? What library services do you make the most use of? Are there are any services that, while available, are difficult to make use of?
A library provides old books that you can't find anywhere else is the most important service that I can think of.
I don't know about other libraries, but my local library seems to be used primarily for its internet access. The public computer lab is arguably the most trafficked section of the library on any given day. While it does bring in more patrons, I feel like its a step in the wrong direction. While it's true that many people need internet access for research, nine times out of ten they're used for social media or porn. It's kind of a mockery of what libraries are meant for.
What intrigues me most is the idea of lending ebooks. The systems in place right now are a little too limited to work properly, but the idea of getting a library book delivered to you wirelessly is pretty cool. In the future, I would like to see more of that, with the physical library reserved for the kinds of books that don't work so well on ereaders. Granted, that threatens the community aspect of the library (why go if you can get everything online?) But, as I said above, the computer lab is already bringing them in droves.
Obviously, the most important service a library offers is providing books and other media for reference or loan. The only thing I'd add, is that books etc. for those with visual and hearing impairments should also be available.
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