WARNING: This article contains personal opinions.
I published an article at http://bit.ly/2P7tDj9 about the recent closure of the David Library of the American Revolution in Pennsylvania. The closure of any library is always sad news, of course. However, I also see a solution and perhaps even a ray of sunshine in such announcements.
Most libraries close simply because of financial difficulties. It costs a lot of money for buildings, heat, air conditioning, electricity, and employees’ salaries. Oh yes, there is also a major expense for books and other materials that are the primary purpose of a library.
Smaller libraries typically serve a limited number of patrons: only those who live somewhere near the library and can use the library’s facilities without spending a lot of time and money in travel, hotel rooms, restaurants, and more in order to use the facility. When it comes to attracting visitors to a library, geography is perhaps the biggest impediment of all.
In contrast, let’s consider online libraries.