Greg Harris, vice president of marketing at Jameco, a long time vendor of electronic components
, comments on the public library, not a favorite place during his childhood and young adulthood, but more recently rediscovered and enjoyed as a source of ebooks.
After college I had no need for libraries for a long time. It was almost about 10 years later and almost by accident that I rediscovered the library as a second office. It had everything I needed to get my work done: a comfortable desk, high ceilings, fast wireless internet access and something that my office didn't have... a way to avoid all interruptions and I continued to be fascinated by how other people used the library.
This month, once again, the library transformed its role in my life. I purchased an electronic book reader. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the e-reader also provided a new path back into the library - a virtual path. From the comfort of my own home I borrowed (downloaded) electronic books free of charge. I was fascinated by the software that managed the digital rights and keeps track of where the book is downloaded only allowing one user to have access at a time. Unlike their physical cousins, with e-books there are no missing pages, coffee stains or margin notes.
He closes by asking, "Can you think of an institution that has lived as long and changed as much as libraries? "