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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Borders Closes----Are Libraries Next?

I knew it was going to happen eventually.  Bookstores are going the way of the video rental stores, newspapers and music stores.  Everything is going digital.  It is a new world.  But going to a bookstore is something I will miss.  When my wife and daughters would shop in the malls I would head for the only store that interested me---the bookstore.  When waiting in an airport the bookstore was a place to loose yourself and pass the time.

Borders in Columbia Crossing was a really special place for me.  When I had a couple of hours to get away and relax my first choice was always to go to Borders, browse for a book, get a latte and read in the café.  I can’t tell you how many books I read that way.  I know that I might be able to do that at a library but the lattes at Borders made it different. Plus I usually read a new book that you have to put on reserve at the library.

Speaking of libraries how long will it be before they go digital?  When the digital readers replace the printed book how often will people go to the library? Will our world only be virtual and digital?  Remember the world without the computer? How did we ever work and communicate without the computer? What do I look at first in the morning and last at night?  When someone asks me what would I get out of my house if it were on fire I would say my computer after the family and pets.

So goodbye old friend Borders and thanks for the memories.  You will be missed.


Jason Booms said...

I will miss Borders as well. Used to shop/browse there at least once or twice per week.

One point of distinction between Borders and libraries, or even Borders vs. Barnes & Noble, is that Borders failed to live up to its potential as a "third place" destination.

Our library system is a meeting place for many local groups. Barnes & Noble did a better job than Borders in this regard with their children's zones. Moreover, I rarely found the Borders Cafe as a great spot for working compared to Starbucks or Mad City (the latter being my current locale).

Also, as a new Friend of Howard County Library System, I believe that the connection between libraries and their communities will help keep physical libraries going for some time to come. At least I hope that is the case.

Anonymous said...

First off, I'm not sure how much of Borders closing has to do with e-readers vs. Borders getting killed by Amazon in price competition. Secondly, because libraries are run by the government, they will probably be around in a form very similar to what they are now, long after public tastes have shifted.

JP said...

Maybe Borders is closing because people are going in, browsing the books, spending $4 bucks on coffee, and not buying the books?

In that case, let's get the County to start building cafes in the libraries.

Christie said...

Libraries are here to stay as long as they follow Howard County's lead in positioning themselves as educational institutions that are indispensable to the community. It then doesn't matter what format books are, because we will continue to offer self-directed education for customers (via online or print materials), teach classes for children, teens, and adults, and offer experiences such as the spelling bee, Battle of the Books, and others that engage customers.