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Welcome to the Future! We Have Books!

woman reading in bean bag

January 6, 2020

What do self-driving cars, invisible computers, and traveling to Mars have in common? All were predicted to be created or have happened by 2020! And hey—two out of three ain’t bad! USA Today recently released a list of 20 predictions that were supposed to have come true by 2020 and gave an update on where we are with each. Some—like the self-driving cars and invisible computers—have come to fruition in some form or fashion, while others were way off.

One prediction (not by anyone at MCPL!) was that books would be dead by 2020. Thankfully for readers who prefer a traditional print book, this is definitely not the case!

“Though the net revenue of the U.S. book publishing industry has decreased since 2014,” reported USA Today, “the industry still sold 675 million print books and brought in nearly $26 billion in 2018, according to the Association of American Publishers' annual report.”

MCPL continues to see steady circulation of print materials despite the rise of other popular formats such as eBooks and eAudiobooks (which the Library also provides). In fact, in the last fiscal year alone, checkout of physical materials made up 6.5 million of the Library’s 9 million in total circulation. And while many have previously predicted the overall decline of libraries, a trip to any local branch will prove that this couldn’t be further from the truth! See why Fox 4 KC recently reported that “metro libraries are booming” in the internet age.

However, it is true that modern libraries look different than they did before. Instead of warehouses for books, libraries have evolved into community centers, providing customers with newer services and technology, such as high-speed Wi-Fi and public computers; upgraded settings for meetings, coworking space, or tutoring sessions; access to valuable online resources like Mango Languages or Live Homework Help from Tutor.com; and free programs for all ages—from storytimes to exercise classes.

So, what do you think will happen in the next decade or two? I predict that no matter how community needs evolve, MCPL will be there to meet them!


Emily B.
Marketing & Communications Department

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