The Current

Can public libraries survive as an institution in the digital age?

The closing of half of Newfoundland and Labrador's libraries has The Current asking what role do libraries play in the community? Is there a future for the institution in our communities and in our knowledge economy?
The library board in Newfoundland and Labrador announced they will be adopting a regional library model which will see 54 branches close in the next two years. (Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images)

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On April 27, Newfoundland and Labrador announced it will be closing over half of its libraries, due to budget cuts.

The viability of libraries in the digital age have some people questioning the need for libraries as books are accessible online and don't need an institution to provide a service.

Should we save our libraries or is it time to close the chapter on them? (Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images)

In 2011, a poll found that 84 per cent of Canadians support funding public libraries. Those who continue to support libraries argue the role of the library goes beyond books — it's a place for community, for shelter and has great resources to help people in difficult times.

With city budgets in constant need of budget cuts, should the institution be saved or are libraries in this digital age obsolete?

What do you want from your local public library? What would you miss most if it closed?

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This segment was produced by The Current's Sarah Grant, Julian Uzielli and Paula Last.