May 26, 2022

Washington Post: “Libraries Under Fire as They Shift from Print to Digital”

Ed. Note:  For many infoDOCKET readers the issues discussed in the Washington Post article will not be new. That said, we would not be surprised to see more articles like this in other mainstream newspapers/web sites.

From the Article:

Around the country, libraries are slashing their print collections in favor of e-books, prompting battles between library systems and print purists, including not only the pre-pixel generation but digital natives who represent a sizable portion of the 1.5 billion library visits a year and prefer print for serious reading.


“We’re caught between two worlds,” said Darrell Batson, director of the Frederick County Public Libraries system in Maryland, where the print collection has fallen 20 percent since 2009. “But libraries have to evolve or die. We’re probably the classic example of Darwinism.”


“For a lot of people, libraries represent a certain kind of quiet, a certain kind of place, a certain kind of book in large numbers,” said Matthew Battles, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society and co-author of “Library Beyond the Book.” “These are beautiful ideas and ideals. But they demand reinterpretation and cultivation from generation to generation.”

To library purists, this is nonsense.

“I get the sense that a lot of people have a feeling that tech has just moved along, that books are these old-fashioned things, that everything is going to be on the Internet, that a Kindle and Google is all you need,” [Dennis] Hays [ former U.S. ambassador and chairman of Fairfax Library Advocates, a group of residents at war with library officials] said. “But getting reliable information is a constant challenge today. Libraries help people find the credible information they need.”

Read the Complete Article (approx. 1400 words).

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.