The main purpose of public libraries should be to provide books. Public libraries should not spend their limited resources on computer software, videos or DVDs. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
With the development of information technology, lots of public libraries have various electronic learning materials such as software and videos accessible to the public. However, in order to save resources, some people argue that the original function of public libraries - only provide books - should not be changed. From my perspective, I totally disagree with this idea and will prove it with evidence.
Firstly, the materials that public libraries provided should not be restricted to books as reading is only one of various ways that people can acquire knowledge. For example, in order to illustrate knowledge vividly and make learning more interesting, the official journal 'National Geography' has made hundreds of videos relevant to the topics in its paper magazines and developed computer programs which enable people to search knowledge of geography online quickly and easily. Since the public libraries is an organized collection of resources made accessible to the public for reference or borrowing, all kinds of ways to acquire new information and knowledge including reading, watching and hearing should be enabled by providing both physical and digital materials.
Secondly, electronic learning materials will not demand much for the budget public libraries. Since e-books and videos provided in public libraries are stored in the database of library which can only be modified by librarians via computers, the cost brought by damage and stealing on these kinds of materials can be ignored. In addition, although libraries need to spend money on purchasing some copyrighted softwares like Microsoft Office Suite in the beginning, the future use and update of those softwares are totally free. Last but not least, the electronic storage of information is a clearly space-saving option for the public libraries. For example, the size of a DVD is much smaller than that of a normal sized paper book, however the data capacity of the former is hundreds of times bigger than the latter.
In conclusion, in my opinion, public libraries should provide all kinds of learning materials to the public and enable various kinds of approaches available for people to acquire knowledge since the contribution of modern learning styles and materials both the public and libraries is much more than their real cost.