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July 22, 2024
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Who needs libraries?
Produced by: Richard Paul
As more and more information is available on-line, as Amazon rolls out new software that allows anyone to find any passage in any book, an important question becomes: Who needs libraries anymore? Why does anyone need four walls filled with paper between covers? Surprisingly, they still do and in this program Producer Richard Paul explores why; looking at how university libraries, school libraries and public libraries have adapted to the new information world. This program airs as part of our ongoing series on education and technology, and is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education.

Program Credits

Who needs libraries? was produced by Richard Paul. Archival tape came from the Prelinger Archive, on the web at This program is part of our series on education and technology, produced with support from the United States Department of Education.


The Library Is Dead, Long Live The Library
This speech was given by Rick Anderson of the University of Nevada, Reno, Libraries at a library conference in October 2003.

Grimm & Parker Architects
These architects built a number of the libraries visited in the program. This is a gallery of their library designs.

American Library Association
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 64,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services, and public access to information.

Your Life's Work: The Librarian
View this old movie about librarians, featured in the program.

Folger Shakespeare Library
Explore what collections this library, located in Washington, D.C., has to offer.

Impacts of the Internet on Public Library Use
Learn more about this study, referred to in the documentary.

Public Libraries in the United States Statistical trends, 1990-2001
Provided by the American Library Association.

Books, Bricks and Bytes: Libraries in the Twenty-First Century
by: Stephen R. Graubard (Editor), Paul Leclerc 1997
This book brings together an array of authors from around the world who argue the importance of the library as a public trust and public resource.

Digital Futures: Strategies for the Information Age
by: Marilyn Deegan, Simon Tanner 2002
This guide for librarians, archivists, and information managers describes strategies for the management of electronic information resources.

Library in the Twenty-First Century: New Services for the Information Age
by: Peter Brophy 2000
This timely book offers a model of how traditional and electronic sources can co-exit in the library of the future, examines the changes being brought about by the digital age, and poses the question, 'Why do we still need libraries?'

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Programs by Richard Paul

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