An economist received national backlash last weekend after suggesting in a Forbes op-ed that libraries be replaced with Amazon bookstores to save taxpayers money.
“[Libraries] don’t have the same value they used to,” the article, which has since been taken off the site, argued. LIU Post economist Panos Mourdoukoutas said the main functions of the library have been replaced. Community and WiFi are now provided by Starbucks, video rentals by Netflix, and books by Amazon. Here is an archived version of the Forbes op-ed.
But beyond providing books, computers, video rentals and a community meeting place, libraries in and around Cleveland offer a wide variety of unique services and resources to taxpayers.
Here are just a few of them:
- Video games – Don’t tell the kids! The Westlake Porter Public Library offers more than just books and movies. They offer a wide variety of games for kids and adults that can be checked out, for free, for consoles including Playstation 4, Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch.
- 3-D Printing – 2-D printing is so 20th Century. Cleveland Public Library’s TechCentral MakerSpace has three state-of-the-art 3-D printers available to print 3-D objects, as well as scanning technology to turn physical objects into computer renderings. The library offers events and classes on the technology as well.
- Genealogy Research – Why spend money at an online genealogy site? Cleveland Public Library offers resources and classes to get you started on researching your family’s history, with expert volunteers to help beginners and advanced researchers alike at clinics on the second Saturday of each month.
- Live Shows – Looking for a cheap date night? Libraries around the area are host to many different free live shows for families and adults, from magic acts to opera to concerts.
- Streaming and Digital Services – Go to the library in your underwear! Well, don’t really. But you can access ebooks, audiobooks, music, TV shows, movies and more on your computer or mobile devices without having to step foot in the physical library. Learn more about some Cleveland Public Library’s digital offerings here.
That’s just scratching the surface of what our local libraries offer. Check out the website for the library serving your area to see what else these public institutions offer residents.