To the editor:
I read with interest Mark Hirschey's perspective on libraries and how he considers them limited and obsolete.
In my defense of libraries, I am not proposing that every city have a library like Topeka's, although that would be nice, but I disagree with Mr. Hirschey's recommendation that no money be spent on enhancing the local library.
I am speaking only from experience. I certainly haven't conducted a study of all libraries; however, I can attest to the fact that the Topeka library is always busy. It is difficult to get a parking space close to the front door! Children pour in there with parents and, yes, some are on computers, but many are in the reading rooms, study rooms, checking out books and videos. And, oh my gosh, some are actually carrying out armloads of books! Imagine!
For seniors, libraries offer programs, books and videos. I know people who can no longer afford to buy books and magazines so they depend solely on the library for their reading material.
There are many families who cannot afford computers so the computers are an important part of the library, as are the books, videos, programs, art, meeting rooms, speakers and events.
All of the above are benefits and amenities that one cannot find on the Internet. I am an avid user of my computer and the Internet, but I do love a library. So, Mr. Hirschey, I do think we can have the best of both worlds to enrich our lives.
Betty J. Simecka,