In a word, yes!
In fact many see public libraries as more relevant than ever. This explains why many communities around the world are expanding their public libraries or building new ones. Scroll down to learn more.
Did you know that in 2016 more people attended library events in the United States than the NFL, MLB and the NBA combined? Programming continues to expand, up 27% in the last seven years.
This survey in 2017 shows that a large majority of Americans see their public library as an essential learning center, safe haven, and gathering place for their community.
Study after study has shown that reading to young children is a key to their success. Moreover, the greater the variety of printed books (as is found in a good public library), the better. Since most brain growth occurs between birth and age five, ideally children should have visited the library hundreds of times before even stepping into a school.
Read this article from DeepDive, a respected business journalism site, discussing the public library's ongoing role in creating 'smart cities.'
It's sometimes said that "since everything is online why do we need libraries?" Besides the fact not everything (or every person) is online, much of what's valuable and popular in digital form is copyrighted, and therefore rarely free. Libraries will continue to provide universal access by first assuring that everyone in the community can get online, and then providing access to high quality digital information and entertainment once they are there.
Libraries have earned the trust of the communities they serve. We fight for intellectual freedom, carefully protect privacy and work to provide resources to everyone in the community.
Given what you've learned, this infographic from a recent MarketWatch article should no longer be surprising.