Here’s the TL;DR version of this story: On Saturday, Forbes published an ungodly misinformed piece by Panos Mourdoukoutas, who suggested that Amazon should replace local libraries because Mourdoukoutas objected to the fact that he had to pay $495 a year in property taxes to support his local library.
Here’s the gist of the article, from QZ.com:
“[Libraries] don’t have the same value they used to,” the article argued. The functions of the library, Mourdoukoutas said, have been replaced: community and wifi are now provided by Starbucks; video rentals by Netflix and Amazon Prime; and books by Amazon.
“Technology has turned physical books into collector’s items, effectively eliminating the need for library borrowing services,” Mourdoukoutas wrote, despite the fact that print book sales from traditional publishing houses are steady. Mourdoukoutas also made the unsubstantiated claim that “some people have started using their loyalty card at Starbucks more than they use their library card.”
A few things here, real quick:
1) Fuck you.
2) Most people don’t pay $495 in property taxes to support their local libraries because most people do not own $1.5 million houses, and people who do own $1.5 million houses should not complain about spending $495 to enrich and educate millions of people, as well as provide Internet services to those who cannot otherwise afford it.
3) I don’t pay $495 for my local library, but if I did, it would still be a goddamn bargain, considering how many books the kids and I read without having to spend a penny to do so.
4) I put myself through college by working in a library, and there’s a whole lot that goes on in a library besides checking out physical books, which are still hugely valuable, especially to those who don’t use e-readers or audiobooks (BOTH OF WHICH CAN ALSO BE CHECKED OUT FOR FREE FROM THE LIBRARY).
5) Fuck you.
This is the only proper response to that terrible "Amazon should take over public libraries" piece in Forbes: pic.twitter.com/Jl7NJZ5ZRI— Maris Kreizman (@mariskreizman) July 22, 2018
Social media — an awful thing on its worst days, and a wonderful thing on its best — raised motherfucking hell about the piece, and Forbes appropriately pulled it. “Libraries play an important role in our society. This article was outside of this contributor’s specific area of expertise, and has since been removed,” Forbes said in a statement.
Yeah, no shit.