4 thoughts on “The library is central to our free society”

      • The reason I asked is because it was definitely true in the late 19th through mid 20th but less and less valid afterwards until totally false post Internet.

        Public libraries used to be key in the spread of literacy through the country but literacy is no longer limited to books (print or digital) in the age of the internet. Witness the death of print encyclopedias (Britannica, Van Nostrand’s, etc) and reference books like the CRC Handbook of Chemistry which have either migrated online or just died.


        Add to that the ability to audit college courses online at many universities and the emergence of Machine Learning search and summarizing tools and the road to literacy is now the Internet. With the unintended consequence that adds “google fu” and critical reading to basic literacy as essential survival skills. Neither of which is taught in public school curricula. 🙁

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