Write about the following topic:
The main purpose of public libraries is to provide books, and they should not waste their limited resources and space on providing expensive hi-tech media such as computer software, videos and DVDs.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
Sample Answer: [Disagree] [Band 8/9 level sample essay]
Traditionally, a library is a place that shelves many books that readers can read or borrow. However, technological advancement and its tremendous effects on the way we learn new things and share information have redefined the concept of a library in recent days. Thus digital content and technological facilities are widely used in public libraries all around the world, and I quite disagree with the notion that these amenities are a waste of resources or space for a library.
Opposers of high-tech libraries often argue that they distract readers and costs additional money. I, however, believe that libraries with modern facilities are far more useful to readers, and allow the librarian to manage its collection in a more organised fashion. Multimedia resources offer readers a dynamic combination of images, sounds, videos and virtual tours. Thus listening to a famous historical speech or taking a virtual tour at a historical site is far more interactive and exciting than just reading about them. Moreover, multimedia facilities and DVDs in a library may initially seem expensive, but they preserve valuable resources for a longer time and contain important information for future research and reference. To cite an example, a single DVD can store the entire volume of Encyclopedia Britannica which would otherwise occupy a large shelf of a library.
Interestingly, a public library can actually save money and space and attract more readers with the use of technology and interactive contents. When they have computers and library management software, they barely need many staff members. Besides, it takes great effort to protect books from moisture, fire and human damages but digital contents can easily be copied and preserved for as many years as we want. As for attracting young generations, a high-tech library is more successful.
To conclude, the transformation of public libraries have made them more beneficial to readers and researchers as they now work as centres for interactive learning and knowledge sharing. It is expected that traditional libraries would start including digital and modern facilities to enhance human knowledge and experience.