IELTS essay, topic: Libraries are not a necessity anymore because of the digital resources available today (agree/disagree)

This is a model response to a Writing Task 2 topic from High Scorer’s Choice IELTS Practice Tests book series (reprinted with permission). This answer is close to IELTS Band 9.

Set 5 General Training book, Practice Test 24

Writing Task 2

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

With the vast increase in online resources today, libraries with print books are not a necessity for today’s society.

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

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

You should write at least 250 words.

Sample Band 9 Essay

It is indeed true that digital resources today far outstrip what can be put and stored in print books. Almost any kind of book can now be accessed digitally and those that can’t be will soon be changed to a digital format. Some people, therefore, believe that libraries with print books are no longer needed.

If one looks at this issue dispassionately, it seems far more logical that people now should only read books digitally. It only requires a single computer or electronic reader and an individual can have access to the history of literature and works on all other fields. The costs involved with setting, typing, printing and distributing print books would practically disappear and this would make things more convenient and much cheaper. An actual library building would be totally unnecessary, as all one would need would be a ‘virtual library’ as a website and all works could be accessed through this portal. There would not even be any need to leave the house to gain access to anything one needed. This would seem to be the most logical way of proceeding.

Logic, however, is not always the best approach to everything. Print books have a long history with humanity and our relationship with real books is not something that can be changed overnight. Many people, including younger readers, feel that there is something special about having a book with real paper and needing to turn pages. There will therefore for the time being be a future for print books and libraries.

Libraries will continue to be especially important, as not all older people use computers and e-readers as much as the younger generation. They will still want to read print books and the library is a cheap and convenient place to find them. In addition, if only a few books in print are available in the future, libraries might be one of the few places where they might be accessed. Another purpose that libraries serve is acting as community centres that organise events, education and childcare. Ironically, libraries also provide computers and Internet access for people who cannot afford their own.

In spite of the seeming dominance to come of digital books, I feel that there is and will be a place for libraries with print books. This state of affairs might change in the future, but at present, they are important community resources.

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