Many of us long for the day that there are comprehensive public services available on the Internet. Already there has been much progress, and my local libraries offer some e-books and audiobooks for loan.
But the other side of that, in the long run, is that there is potentially not enough justification to fund community library buildings or maintain large city libraries. I'm not suggesting that this is going to happen in the near future or even our lifetime, and the physical books still have value and need to be preserved. But as I look at these pictures
of libraries around the world, I can't help but feel the great loss if library buildings were shut down in favor of smaller buildings. We take it for granted, but personally I'm not ready to lose the ambiance and tactile joys of traditional libraries, and all the additional opportunities to gather, study or get away.
Reading at a Borders book store just isn't quite the same.