Flipping through the pages of something tangible has always been one of my greatest comforts. Reading has fed my love of stories since childhood and now, working at a newspaper and a library allows me to have the income to keep myself fed. But, in this day and age of transition, a time where physical print’s viability is constantly questioned, I am frequently asked if the institutions that I have invested so much into—personally and professionally—are on the brink of death.
The answer is no. The essence of print is not dying and, quite frankly, those who ask have probably never truly utilized the establishments that keep countless pieces of knowledge and history alive.
How media is consumed by many is absolutely in a state of transition, but libraries and newspapers are entirely capable of adapting to this while archiving and celebrating literary history.
For example, anyone involved in their local library knows that it is currently Banned Books Week. The message of this week is grounded in our country’s first amendment right through the celebration of our freedom to read. Public libraries perpetuate this message in a way that is inclusive and timely to all demographics by providing free library cards along with access to the internet which equips anyone in the community with online resources. This is vital for some. While many of us take the access we have to the internet for granted, those without the means to connect many times struggle. Libraries have evolved to combat this challenge.
Newspapers are also combating challenges revolving around technology along with challenges presented by the current political climate. I have transitioned into focusing on the paper when the semester is in full swing due to my new role as editor-in-chief. Though I miss the library dearly, I know that this is where I need to be right now. Learning to understand news and its credibility has never been more vital. More importantly, delivering the news accurately while on an ever-shortening deadline is a job that needs to be taken seriously.
This is why careers that have been traditionally seen as grounded in physical print are far from dying. In fact, they are becoming increasingly important and people are starting to realize that.
Fair and accurate information provided by people who are invested in the field of fair and accurate information is something that should be treasured. Some people might say that this kind of news or history doesn’t exist anymore—people who look only on social media or Google for the answers to questions. The truth is that, if you know where to look, “fake news” can be avoided.
The real stuff is out there. Need help finding it? Ask your local librarians, visit local history centers, talk to the people who write for the paper because we were the ones who thought about and invested in asking the questions that need to be asked and sharing the information that needed to be shared first.