• Nick Kemp

Task 2 Essay: Public Libraries

Question: Maintaining public libraries is a waste of money since computer technology can replace their functions. Do you agree or disagree? (Test Date: 18/1/18)

Band 8+ Sample Answer:

(Intro) It is widely thought that money allocated to supporting library services should be better spent as various technological devices can be an alternative to traditional libraries. I tend to agree with this idea as public libraries are less attractive in the eyes of the public and more subsidies should be given to digital books.

(Body 1) To begin with, an increasingly large number of book lovers are now finding themselves reliant on computer technology for reading. This can be evidenced by the fact that sales of e-readers such as Kindles, and reading applications on mobile phones and computers, are surging all over the world. Moreover, people who are too occupied with their work as well as household responsibilities, are turning to audiobooks as a convenient substitute since this innovation allows them to multitask and use their time more effectively. As a result, public libraries are sparsely attended although the membership fees are usually negligible.

(Body 2) Instead of wasting money on an obsolete service, public funds could be of more use when spent on measures to promote digital books. Library running expenses, which sometimes includes exorbitant costs to preserve hard copies, should be used to scan books and make them available to the mass population of internet users. In this way, reading would definitely be better promoted and more people would be motivated to look for books to expand their knowledge.

(Conclusion) In conclusion, taxpayers’ money should not be spent on maintaining public libraries as computer technology can perfectly replace traditional ‘brick and mortar locations. Instead, innovative technologies, such as e-book readers or audiobooks should be more widely encouraged. In this way public libraries could become smaller and merely offer free access to computers to facilitate online reading for those without modern technology.

Words: Student essay, corrected & upgraded by Nick Kemp, former IELTS examiner.

Image: Pexels / Pixabay.