Libraries all over the world are fascinating places today. Indeed, libraries have undergone tremendous changes, beginning from the past up to the present. In the past, the library was a quiet place, where the walls were filled with books on different topics. However, today, libraries are quite different in atmosphere and function. In the past, you would enter the library and “stake out your favorite table and save seats for your friends.” The “high ceilings and stained-glass windows often appearing in each building called the library set the mood.” Today, upon entering the library one must whip out an identification card in order to access a computer, which might be in a small terminal area, without any friends waiting.
According to the text, Neighbors Remember Parrish Memorial Library, Bill Marcus recounted the day in 1989, when furniture from the library was sold to the public. He notes that he was able to buy the old card catalogs. However, today students think a card catalog is a book used to look for cards to purchase. Marcus further noted that collections of VHS videotapes and books on cassette were purchased at a bargain price. Suddenly I could hear the clickety clack of a machine eating tape! The digital age has changed the purpose of a library significantly. Referring to the text, State-of-the-Art Library Opens, the reader realizes that libraries today are more exciting and technologically advanced, just like the rest of the world in this 21st Century.
The term ‘diversity’ is relevant when comparing and contrasting libraries of today and yesterday. Today, students do not just sit in the library quietly reading a book or a study guide. Today, things have changed, as students “participate in everything from tutoring programs to chess tournaments” as well as “take advantage of cooking classes, story time, make-and-take craft programs, and attending book club meetings.” Imagine the roaring sound of games and activities in a library instead of the silence and shushing of the little white headed librarian.
Fourteen-year-old Andrew Chase summed it up well stating, “The place is awesome. I think it will make our neighborhood more fun to have the library here.” Nonetheless, libraries have outlived their role as a place to just read a book. Today, libraries are digitalized learning centers, which add fun to the reading experience.
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