Recently a friend showed me a TradeMe message board where members of the public are lamenting the changes to libraries in recent years. They dislike the noise, crowds, entertainment, cellphones and tourists. It is easy to label them as old-fashioned grumblers and say that the changes are simply progress in action.
But do we listen less to these people, and give less weight to their arguments, than to the people who want libraries as noisy, messy, fun community spaces? And if that’s the case, if we are being totally honest, why is that?
I’d be interested to hear any views.