Thanks for having absolutely no idea how #libraries work in 2018, @Forbes…
Do you not understand how unbelievably classist it is to say that everyone has a Netflix account or an Amazon Prime account? I know that people who you report on don't worry about those subscription prices, but for many lower income folks those CAN BE luxuries.
And they might not own a Kindle to take advantage of an ereader. So if they do read, it has to be at a computer. Which, again, not everyone is going to have. Did you know that public #libraries serve *everyone*, including *gasp* THE POOR?
We help with tax preparation. We help with job searching online. Community groups and clubs can use our space to host meetings. School auditoriums, which you mention, do not do that for people. Community centers aren't as prominent as they used to be.
I love coffee shops as much as the next person. A Starbucks is a place to have a social gathering to meet a friend. We're quieter than a goddamn Starbucks. And Starbucks don't host literacy programs for children and teens. Starbucks don't host code clubs.
Did you know that some provide maker labs for 3D printing and host cooking classes? We help with genealogy research. What does Amazon have available for FREE to help local community members learn how to do that? Should we just rely on the aggregate data of Prime subscribers?
This isn't even getting into the issue of Amazon's MYRIAD of issues regarding how it treats its workers, how dehumanizing it is to work in their warehouses, and how many of them cannot even afford to make a living on the wages it pays.
Fuck Amazon, frankly. Why should we give them more money to give us reduced quality of services, with no trained professionals to help people navigate the web? Because that's what you're assuming. You are assuming everyone has the same level of web savvy as you.
This is grossly inaccurate. To be web and tech savvy is to have access to these items, which in a time of forced obsolescence is increasingly hard. People can't keep up because we can't bloody afford the money it costs to do so.
You know what else #libraries do depending on where they are and what type? We do writing workshops. Some operate as homeless shelters. The YA genre? We coined the name for it!
As for our digital offerings, large public libraries do streaming! It's cheaper than Netflix! We also have digital books! Again, cheaper than Amazon! And just as robust! You know who it caters to aside from the people you want to buy your book? People without those subs!
This is a grossly inaccurate, poorly researched thinkpiece, clearly written by someone who has not bothered to utilize all the services. Probably because they don't have to. But guess what: private businesses services? There will always be people who can't utilize those.
But maybe the real reason you wrote this is at the end of your article you're shilling your newest book. Which is available for purchase on, you guessed it, Amazon.

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