Public libraries and the Internet
That's it! I'm becoming an associate of the library! There, now I feel much better. At least I'm doing something...
So I don't go to the library much these days. I do most of my reading on the Internet. Even when I wrote a paper for my library science class, we were supposed to get all of our sources from various electronic databases--I didn't do any research in the physical library, although the resources were provided by the library. The New York Public Library is no different in terms of resources available online. In addition to their Digital Library, they have all of these electronic databases. You can even search their entire catalog in Hebrew, from your very own home! (I think that's mostly for searching for things from their Dorot Division.)
It's an interesting philosophical question--where is the library if so many of its resources are available online and if working people can't go because it's never open? Will the brick and mortar library be replaced by the library-on-the-Internet? It sometimes appears that way. Would that be a good thing? I think I would miss physical libraries if they disappeared. I once went into the NYPL to use one of their electronic resources and I sat in a room full of computers, with other people tip-tapping away next to me...and it was kind of sad. Not like the somber, stately reading rooms of yore. I'm no luddite by any means, but I sure do love paper books.