Why are libraries still a vital part of our community?

As young people we live in a bubble of technology, where 4G and Wi-Fi are necessities in our hectic schedules and our minds are constantly switched on. Instead of picking up a book, many people turn to reading notifications and tweets. So, in an age of social media and updates, why do libraries and bookshops still flourish?

Young people today are surrounded by technology, our lives revolve around activity on our phones. We talk to friends through them, we receive homework through them, news updates, career choices, music, films and so on. Our lives revolve around them so much, that we forget that there are other members in our community those lives don’t circulate around a screen. Children born today will be socialised into this world of technology. But what about the adults today, who struggle with technology, who don’t know their way around a phone and who want to find more about the world but don’t have a button to push, to access it. This is where the library steps in… To some, the library is simply an outdated institution full of dusty old books, but to others it is a source of knowledge, a social spot, a helping hand. Epsom library is used by everyone; young children picking out storybooks to read, teenagers studying for their Gcse’s, adults taking courses and people just simply reading. I asked two librarians about what they actually thought about the library, why they thought it was still relevant in today’s society and why the library is a vital part of the community. Their in-depth answers provided me with valuable knowledge and an insight into what really goes on at the library. Their first response was that it was brilliant, that it was a community hub that provided help and knowledge to a broad spectrum of people. They went on to say that the library wasn’t just a place for books and reading, but somewhere where you could access newspapers and download e-books. Despite the vast number of books, they exclaimed that there was even more online about local and personal history. I found out about how the library is keeping in touch with the digital world and how it is simply a source of valuable information.

So, what can be learned from a visit to the library, so much it seems, but on a deeper level, I found out that the library is still the beating heart of the community for so many people and that the people that work there are an invaluable source of information. When you next pick up your phone to check Snapchat, think again and instead pick up a book and immerse yourself.