card catalogs, books, and the digital age

card catalog

lovely old fashioned card catalog

roscoe books

lovely shelves at RoscoeBooks

I have been a librarian for over 10 years; my “day job” is a teen librarian in a public library.

My “side job” is a bookseller at RoscoeBooks.

I am often asked the following questions:

  • Do you think libraries will survive the digital age?
  • Do you think we will always have print books?

(and then people often share how they miss the experience of flipping through the card catalog to discover different books related to what they were originally looking for in the library)

Now, that I am also working in a vibrant independent bookstore (you guessed the one: RoscoeBooks!) I am also asked:

  • Do you think independent bookstore use is on the rise and will they survive?

Libraries and bookstores are both near and dear to my heart.

  • Yes! I think independent bookstore use is on the rise and will survive (and thrive!) in our neighborhoods. This past weekend, a customer shared with me that browsing in our store was similar to browsing through that card catalog at the library. He was able to browse our shelves – finding the sections that interested him and discovering new titles that he might not of heard of before. Independent bookstores love connecting with our readers (customers!) and we never tire of talking books and making recommendations.

  • Yes! I think we will have print books for a long, long time to come. Digital devices are convenient and make it very easy to carry hundreds of titles in one little portable device. However, nothing beats the experience of cracking open a new book – taking in the cover, the smell of the pages, and the heft of having a book in your hands. I never tire of seeing little ones make a beeline for the children’s corner of our bookstore. They know where their favorite books are and will quickly settle in a beanbag on the floor to page through the book.

  • Yes! I think libraries will survive the digital age. Libraries are an important piece of a community and offer much more than just books.

So this librarian and bookseller (both titles I wear proudly) thinks that print books and the places (and people) that help connect them to their readers will be around for a long time. Happy Reading and stop by any time to “talk books” with Erika, Greg, Emily, or I – it is our favorite part of our job!

About Katie

teen librarian by day...bookseller by night.
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