Library, book store employees hope old-fashioned way is here to stay

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by MIKE CASTELLUCCI

WFAA

Posted on October 14, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 14 at 11:00 PM

DALLAS -- The written word.

The crisp crackle of the page turn that brings with it the anticipation of a plot turn beyond your wildest dreams.

The Dallas Public Library is full of books, rows, stacks bound only by the human imagination.

But could the library be nearing its own epilogue?

I figured the best place to talk about the future of the brick-and-mortar library, would be on wheels in the bookmobile.

“It’s a library on wheels," said Director of the Dallas Public Library Jo Giudice.

News 8 took a little spin around town to ask Giudice a few questions out loud, without having to whisper about the subject.

“Absolutely and without a doubt, libraries are vibrant and thriving," she said. "All locations are busy.”

Ask the director and she’ll tell you libraries will survive the e-Book revolution, but they’re doing it by changing.

“They really prophesied that within a couple years books were going to just disappear, and libraries were not going to be relevant," Giudice said. "Well libraries are much more than books. We do classes, story time, we teach people to use computers -- it’s not all about the book.”

Libraries used to be books and a quiet place to study them. Today, that happens with caffeine and tablets.

“Starbucks offers free Wi-Fi and we offer free Wi-Fi, but Starbucks does not offer you a free computer,” Giudice said.

“Well, I work for a bookstore, so I’m hoping books are alive and well," said Kathy Doyle Thomas of Half Price Books in Dallas.

And not going the way of, say, records.

The vinyl disappeared because of the eight-track, and then cassette, and then CD, and then smartphone... but the printed word?

“Everyone doesn’t want it to go away, and so everybody’s fighting to make it stay," Thomas said. "There’s a million books published last year.”

By the way, records are in the middle of a comeback because, well maybe, we’ve figured out we like the sound that comes from old technology more... just like the sound of a real page turning.

E-mail mcastellucci@wfaa.com

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