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The Internet Schooled a Pundit Who Said No One Needs Libraries Anymore

"Do not come for library Twitter."

Technology has changed the world, especially in how we consume information, in a lot of ways recently. And yet, the obsolescence of centers of learning and information from the Before Time has also been greatly exaggerated. One political pundit learned the hard way that you do not mess with libraries, librarians, or those who love them.

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It all started when Andre Walker responded to the closure of public libraries (and those in some schools) by saying that no one uses them anymore, and the world would be better served if they were closed and their books were given to schools. He probably assumed that was a safe take on social media—namely Twitter—where reading anything further than a headline is startlingly uncommon. Instead, it seemed more like he shook out an entire intergalactic library’s worth of angry, ravenous vashta nerada as the rebuttals started to fly:

Sure, public libraries and school collections being different is a solid reason that closing the former to consolidate wouldn’t be a good solution, but that’s just the beginning. In short order, Walker’s assertion that “nobody goes to libraries anymore,” which he doubled down on, was passed around with messages asking for retweets from anyone who still goes to libraries. (Just the two I personally happened to see over the last few days have already topped a combined 150k retweets.)

Even more objections and explanations about the lasting worth of public libraries arose:

^That one kicks off a whole thread worth reading.

And there were expert-level burns to go around:

In short order, Walker had to admit he was defeated due to the overwhelming number of people who demonstrated there was plenty of interest still in public libraries, and he took to tweeting out several pro-library articles that had sprung up:

As well as a donation link for a fund to promote diversity in librarianship. The internet is great and all, but there’s just no substitute for what can be accomplished at a good library, thanks to hardworking librarians. Let this be a lesson to anyone who’s ever doubted them: run away now, while you can.

(image: NBC)

(featured image: Warner Bros.)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct <em>Geekosystem</em> (RIP), and then at <em>The Mary Sue</em> starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at <em>Smash Bros.</em>

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