Ever since humans have walked this Earth, we have continually been on the pursuit of knowledge–none more thoroughly so than the Galileos, Newtons and the Einsteins with their incredible genius. With all the available technology we have today, there is no better time for learning than the present.
Some critics are saying otherwise. Digital media such as eBooks seem to pose a conundrum of sorts that has spawned endless debates. Some argue that eBooks destroy the economy of publishing and there will be fewer authors who will write for a living. Others say that these actually help in making knowledge more accessible.
What would our world be like had people not written books? The great faiths and systems of thought of the world have their own books that have shaped them. Books have changed us, and as technology has progressed, electronics and digital media will continue to change everything.
Before, we needed tons and tons of paper to pass our collective knowledge from one generation to the next. Today we don’t even need paper. The small screens of the devices that we hold in our hands allow us to read our favorite authors like J.K. Rowling, George R. R. Martin and others.
The rise of eBooks is not destroying learning but strengthening it. eBooks are now a profitable industry. Electronic textbooks are slowly catching up in schools. With better access, more and more people are getting the information they need.
eBooks may have changed the learning landscape, but there is some evidence that there is still room for print in this world. Libraries are starting to evolve to cater to the needs of current users. They still have printed books, but also host events that bring people together in an actual physical space–something the Internet still can’t do.
In New York, library attendance figures show that there are still considerable numbers of people that make use of their libraries. While online companies like Google are busy digitizing millions and millions of books and making them available to everyone, traditional books may still be part of our future.
What libraries need to do is to prove that they are still relevant. Having people counters, whether wireless or otherwise can help them accurately track their attendance numbers. This will be useful in determining what programs or events are effective in drawing people in. With better reports, they can justify the need for more funding either from governments or private institutions.
eBooks have only served to further interest in learning. Those who think that libraries are relics should think again. No matter the medium, one thing is clear–people will always need information to progress.