Smarty Pants Podcast

Long Live the Library

Our favorite public institution provides far more than books

By Stephanie Bastek | August 24, 2018
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.



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

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