Paulette Rothbauer, Associate Professor, Library and Information Science, Western University discusses the consequences of the high value placed on each new technology or innovation of the moment that results in pushing books and reading to the margins in the commentary on the latest trends in public libraries. One such outcome might be the disavowal of public librarians’ unique, professional knowledge base related to books and reading. Another might be the abdication of a mandate related to the promotion of reading as a social good.
Today’s libraries do build community, support healthy living, promote knowledge and provide space for city sanctuaries. But it is critical that libraries continue to be about books and reading, and that Canadians understand the high value of well-staffed, well-stocked and well-funded libraries.