IELTS Essay 1208 - The main purpose of public libraries is to provide books

IELTS Writing Task 2/ IELTS Essay:

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

The main purpose of public libraries is to provide books, and they should not waste their limited resources and space on providing expensive hi-tech media such as computer software, videos and DVDs.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Model Answer: [Disagree] [Band 8/9 level sample essay]
Traditionally, a library is a place that shelves many books that readers can read or borrow. However, technological advancement and its tremendous effects on the way we learn new things and share information have redefined the concept of a library in recent days. Thus digital content and technological facilities are widely used in public libraries all around the world, and I quite disagree with the notion that these amenities are a waste of resources or space for a library.

Opposers of high-tech libraries often argue that they distract readers and costs additional money. I, however, believe that libraries with modern facilities are far more useful to readers, and allow the librarian to manage its collection in a more organised fashion. Multimedia resources offer readers a dynamic combination of images, sounds, videos and virtual tours. Thus listening to a famous historical speech or taking a virtual tour at a historical site is far more interactive and exciting than just reading about them. Moreover, multimedia facilities and DVDs in a library may initially seem expensive, but they preserve valuable resources for a longer time and contain important information for future research and reference. To cite an example, a single DVD can store the entire volume of Encyclopedia Britannica which would otherwise occupy a large shelf of a library.

Interestingly, a public library can actually save money and space and attract more readers with the use of technology and interactive contents. When they have computers and library management software, they barely need many staff members. Besides, it takes great effort to protect books from moisture, fire and human damages but digital contents can easily be copied and preserved for as many years as we want. As for attracting young generations, a high-tech library is more successful.

To conclude, the transformation of public libraries have made them more beneficial to readers and researchers as they now work as centres for interactive learning and knowledge sharing. It is expected that traditional libraries would start including digital and modern facilities to enhance human knowledge and experience.

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Public libraries are a powerhouse of knowledge and are meant for use by the general public. Modern-day public libraries also include all kinds of technological resources such as computer software, videos, DVDs, etc. apart from books. Some people believe that public libraries should stick to their main utilitarian purpose of providing books and should shun the practice of keeping additional media resources. This essay will discuss why this notion is entirely unacceptable to the extent of being illogical and irrelevant in the present-day context.

Traditional public libraries have been known as the hub of the dispensation of essential, literary as well as non-literary, sources of knowledge to masses. Not only the educated and learned have attained enormous benefits from it but it also has been a means of learning & acquiring knowledge for the uneducated ones. With the advent of modern-day computers, tablets & e-book readers, more and more people are opting for e-books, and so there has been a drastic decline in the book readers opting for the regular printed books. For the same reasons, to stay relevant to the changing trends public libraries have started keeping media resources. For instance, it has been estimated that the number of people opting to visit libraries for e-resources has shot from 10% in 2009 to 57% in 2019. Such a significant rise in user preferences and behaviour clearly highlights the need for the shift in the allocation of library resources, pertaining to being relevant to the majority of users.

Admittedly, it is noteworthy that public libraries still find a segment of people visiting libraries only for studying and borrowing books. The option of having myriad choices of books at a considerably economical borrowing price entices many book readers to prefer public libraries. Such kinds of people may opt to prefer digital media as a priority for reading. It can be aptly illustrated from the fact that according to a survey, for an average public library, 70% of its revenue comes from book borrowing services. Making book renting the cash cow and the main source of earning a stream of a public library. All in all, a public library has a wide variety of people it needs to cater to and therefore it should stay relevant in terms of delivering for needs of both of them.

In conclusion, the need for the notion to stop putting digital content in public libraries is highly relevant and more so will become illogical if a library is not able to cater to its majority of its users.

Traditionally, a library is a place where people can read or borrow books of any subject and gain knowledge. However, with the advancement in technology, their role is not confined to providing information via books only. Many people believe that libraries should not offer a hi-tech source of learning like DVDs or software as they have limited space and resources. I do not agree with this notion.

To begin with, the library is a great source of enhancing knowledge from ages. Modern-day library not only contains books but are also equipped with hi-tech gadgets to play DVDs and videos to provide information to the learners. These advanced libraries offer a convenient method of studying in a more interactive and elaborative way. Therefore, allocating a small section of the library for interactive learning is more advantageous for the readers

Additionally, these advanced public libraries attract an increased number of users and save money in storing things in lesser space. Moreover, protecting books is more difficult, expensive, and space-consuming as compared to DVDs or videos. For example, old books need a controlled environment to prevent the decaying of pages, whereas there is no special requirement for storing digital data. Furthermore, book management software helps in managing and tracking books in a better way. Consequently, they require less manpower and effort to organise the books, hence, saving money.

In conclusion, the transformation of the traditional library to hi-tech digital is more beneficial for the readers by providing them with a better, more interactive, and systematic way of learning.

Aman Garg
Hi there,
Thank you so much for the free essay topics and their sample answers to guide writing my essay. I have recently registered for the IELTS Exam that is due in the month of January. I have been trying to attempt the above essay you have discussed and would like you to help me assess my introduction to the essay which is as follows:

"Libraries have been considered a great source of knowledge and wisdom for a long time. Today technology threatens to change the way libraries have traditionally operated. I completely disagree with the notion that technology's disrupted the status quo of libraries.

The opposition believes that using advanced technology in libraries is an unnecessary exploitation of the resources and space. I however, believe that technology..."

Kindly help me evaluate the beginning of this essay.

Thanks and Regards
Aman Garg

Asha Katariya
Please send me general training task 2 preparation questions pdf for practise?
Hi IELTS Mentor,

Thank you for your help. Today was my IELTS GT exam and it was awesome. Again thanks for your free materials.

Letter: 1) Letter to your friend suggesting a book you have read recently.
i) Tell about that book. ii) Tell how it will be useful to him/her. iii) Tell how they can get the book.

Essay: 2) Some people think road safety has decreased due to more speed on the roads. Others opine that there are other ways to increase road safety.

Discuss both views and provide your opinion.

Cue Card 3): Discuss the advice you gave to someone recently.

Thanks a lot again.


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