A now-deleted article from Forbes made the careless argument that all taxpayer-funded libraries ought to be shut down in favor of Amazon bookstores. The article went up on Saturday and as of today, attempts to access its former URL bring you to an “error 404” page.
The person responsible for this article, Panos Mourdoukoutas, seems to have based his argument on the assumption that libraries are a waste of taxpayer money and that the absolute eradication of these valuable community oases would increase the value of Amazon’s stock, which is of course, of prime concern. Jeff Bezos is really hurting for money y’all, he’s only the richest man in the world (literally).
Image Via American Libraries
You can still read an archived version of the article here, in which Mourdoukoutas writes that “Amazon have created their own online library that has made it easy for the masses to access both physical and digital copies of books.” Except they haven’t. The financial capacity to purchase books is a luxury that is not available to everyone. Libraries don’t simply offer free access to books, they offer an opportunity for self-education to those who may not be able to get it from anywhere else.
It would also seem that Mourdoukoutas is feeling a bit stung by all the attention he’s brought on himself; the Twitter discourse has been merciless and endlessly amusing.
— SPACE FORCE 2024 (@chipgoines) July 23, 2018
Now if you’re reading this, and feeling a bit remorseful about the library card gathering dust in a junk drawer, or was perhaps lost long-ago, take this moment of reflection as motivation to take a trip to your local library and enjoy some of what they have to offer, and be sure to check out the community board while you’re there!
Featured Image Via Williamsburg Libraries