Online Libraries – Can They Replace Traditional Libraries?

Online libraries are becoming more and more popular, and the idea itself is now making educators and government officials all over the world, explore the possibility of establishing and funding local and national libraries on the internet.

How true is the existence of book sharing and online libraries?

Yes, it is true, many countries now have their own version of online libraries and book sharing campaigns, like the UK, USA, Germany, Canada, Japan, India, Philippines and many more.

The concept of sharing and borrowing books via the internet has been around for years and only recently has been modified and made better by the establishment of private and public book stores that rent their books out for readers.

How did the idea of renting out books come about?

Originally, book swapping, selling second-hand books and renting out books were some of the activities common to book lovers and readers. This notion of sharing one’s book collection and borrowing books from other collectors is not new and does not give the impression that it’s ingenious. Enter India.

Up until early 2000, high cost in education, price hikes of textbooks and references, are huge obstacles for Indian youth and college students. Education for young citizens or the lack of it is every country’s issue, affecting the economy and unemployment rate of each nation.

India is one of the countries that has found a workaround and a possible solution to education issues, getting today’s students the opportunity to learn, even with limited financial resources. How? Online Libraries.

There is no doubt that online libraries, which have vast collections of traditional books, literature, novels, educational textbooks, tutorial books, children’s books, guide references and many more, exist to help; and help the youth, it does.

Reading should not be exclusive to people who can afford to buy books. Settling with what the local public library has, should not be the only alternative for those who can’t afford to buy new books. Learning is for everyone, and we all have the right to get educated. Quality and updated books and references should be made accessible to people from all walks of life.

Online libraries are bringing about this democratization by making it more convenient for people to access books and references. College students can now easily search for specific textbooks and are given the option to rent them.

Can online libraries really replace traditional libraries?

Now, the question of whether online libraries can replace traditional libraries has been brought up by debating parties on opposite sides. The opposed party, apparently traditional library campaigners, are against online book sharing for fear of losing the fight on traditional library funding that could cause the closure of these establishments.

An old fashioned library is a joy to the reading community. It can be a source of much-needed information, a haven for peaceful reading, and a local or national treasure and landmark. However, librarians all over the world, admit to the lack of updated and relevant books in the libraries, and most of these establishments are underfunded. It is not likely that any government will spend thrice as much on buying new books when they can encourage book sharing.

Online libraries should not pose a threat to good old fashioned libraries but must be taken as they are- an ingenious and practical way to read and learn. If the campaign for creating more online libraries and book sharing should prove effective, then we can still expect traditional libraries to be around, aided with this smart solution called online libraries.

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