Long Live the Library

Our favorite public institution provides far more than books

Flickr/Miguel M. Almeida
Flickr/Miguel M. Almeida

In case you missed it, last month Forbes published an op-ed that stoked so much public outrage that the editors felt compelled to delete it. Libraries, it argued, should be replaced by Amazon to save taxpayers money. Yet Panos Moudoukoutas’s piece was based on a common misconception: that libraries are only repositories of books, whereas in truth, they provide myriad other services—and generate an enormous return on investment. To bust the myth that libraries could ever be replaced by a for-profit enterprise, we hit the stacks ourselves and spoke to librarian Amanda Oliver about the services that libraries don’t get enough credit for.

Go beyond the episode:

Tune in every week to catch interviews with the liveliest voices from literature, the arts, sciences, history, and public affairs; reports on cutting-edge works in progress; long-form narratives; and compelling excerpts from new books. Hosted by Stephanie Bastek.

SubscribeiTunes • Feedburner • Stitcher • Google Play • Acast

Download the audio here (right click to “save link as …”)

Have suggestions for projects you’d like us to catch up on, or writers you want to hear from? Send us a note: podcast [at] theamericanscholar [dot] org. And rate us on iTunes!

This episode features a beloved song from PBS’s Arthur. Our theme music was composed by Nathan Prillaman.

Permission required for reprinting, reproducing, or other uses.

Stephanie Bastek is the senior editor of the Scholar and the producer/host of the Smarty Pants podcast.


Please enter a valid email address
That address is already in use
The security code entered was incorrect
Thanks for signing up