To the editor:
Mark Hirschey's article ("Libraries are limited, obsolete," Oct. 2) suggests that the Internet replaces the need for a public library. That view is inaccurate in its understanding of both the Internet and the library. The facts are:
¢ The library is the most reliable source for information. It provides public access to the Internet, and adds over 20 online subscription information services that would be unavailable without the library, plus print sources and trained reference librarians to help users find accurate and balanced information from those multiple sources. The Internet is a great information source but is neither unlimited nor always reliable.
¢ The library is about much more than fast information. It is the city's one place where the entire community comes together for informational, intellectual and cultural resources: story hours, reading clubs, adult study and cultural programs, film series, home delivery services and much more. (And they still have books to read there!)
¢ Library use is booming. The number of books and other items borrowed by the library's customers has jumped by over 50 percent in the past five years and reached almost 1 million items in 2005.
I hope all Lawrence citizens will use and support their library, where traditional resources and cutting-edge technology come together to provide top-quality public service.
Jim Minges, director,
Northeast Kansas Library System, Lawrence