Will Libraries Become a Distant Memory in 50 Years?

By Riley Martin

Graphic by Luke Theodossy

English teachers nation-wide have been donating books from their own personal shelves due to the lack of need for books. A quote reported by Ed Vaizey MP,  a minister for culture, communications, and creative industries in the United Kingdom stated the current staus of libraries in America: “In fact 157 libraries have been reported shut down or handed over to unpaid volunteers since April 2011, and another 225 are currently under threat.” Public funding of libraries has declined; thus meaning that it has led to a decreased amount of libraries in general. For a child throughout their adolescent years, libraries are a prevalent memory. The usage of libraries is carried throughout one’s life through their young years to their elderly ones. It is safe to say that in 50 years, the future generations will not grow up with the same prevalence of libraries as we did. Prevalence of libraries in the future will have nothing to do with their overall usefulness, but the human’s capability and desire to get tasks done faster. Time is of the essence in American culture and therefore, the mindset remains “we do not have enough of it”. Digitally enabling something as in books will lead to an advancement in convenience in day-to-day lives. 

A sophomore at Las Lomas, Payton Laforteza, spoke on her opinion on if libraries will exist in 50 years and her response was simple: “Absolutely not. Everything… will have become digital. Our main priority at that point [will be] why would we ever waste resources on things that we don’t have to waste[them] on.” We have seen technology take over in things we never believed it was possible, as in self-driving cars, manufacturing, and cleaning tools. These are all uses of technology designed to make human life “easier”, and by this, we have created a technology-driven society. One that will soon take over the library’s existence.