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The future of librarians in an e-book world

from The Atlantic

"There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration. So wrote the steel baron and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who donated a great part of his vast fortune to establish some 3,000 such libraries around the English-speaking world, from his native Scotland to Fiji, and in 47 of the United States. Carnegie believed that libraries should be more than just repositories for books. He envisioned them as community centers as well, and many of them serve that purpose to this day. But libraries in the 21st century face challenges that Carnegie could not have anticipated, and have struggled to retain their central role to the lives of cities and towns. more


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