Librarians are in uproar after an article in Forbes magazine proposed replacing all public libraries in the US with Amazon bookstores.
Panos Mourdoukoutas, a professor of economics at LIU Post in New York, wrote for Forbes that libraries “don’t have the same value they used to” and should be replaced permanently by Amazon book shops.
“At the core, Amazon has provided something better than a local library without the tax fees. This is why Amazon should replace local libraries,” wrote Mourdoukouta. “The move would save taxpayers money and enhance the stockholder value of Amazon all in one fell swoop.”
Librarians and library users have responded furiously, arguing that libraries provide services that could never be matched by a private company, that they are key places for those who are disenfranchised to use services, and represent value for money for the taxpayer.
“No offense to y’all at Forbes, but a little research would prevent you from publishing this kind of twaddle,” wrote the Harris County Public Library in Texas in a response to the article on Facebook.