My iPad is my mobile library: Are devices rendering public libraries and librarian candles obsolete?

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ipad stand by Veronica Belmont on Flickr under CC BY 2.0

Whenever we travel, I take my iPad with me.

Why? Because it’s like a library that I can carry in my handbag.

Firstly, it houses hundreds of eBooks neatly stored in my Kindle app. And I don’t have to walk a long way and search through tonnes of shelves to find them. Plus I know I’m interested in them as I downloaded them myself.

Through weblogs, I can involve myself in book clubs and literature circles.

On iTunes I have TV shows and movies to keep me entertained for hours.

I can take photos and movies, and I can create and listen to podcasts.

I can keep up to date with all of the latest current affairs.

Those of you who have fond memories of “story time” at your local public library? I have audio books for that.

My iPad has many games that I can play. Solitaire or Bejeweled if I feel like playing alone. Words With Friends or The Sims if I care to be more social.

I can use it look things up on databases. Google, Wikipedia, IMDb.

It’s a tool for socialising with people I care about through Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

And it allows me to be a candle who lights the way for others by engaging in participatory culture through the writing of this blog.

As much as I always enjoyed as a child the fact that the school library was a safe, quiet haven to escape to… are iPads and other devices rendering it obsolete?

For balance, read this article to hear what author Neil Gaiman has to say about how our future depends on libraries.

And this one argues that librarians remain essential to our schools.

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