Essay Ideas: Should libraries invest in technology or books?

Ideas for and against libraries invest more in technology than books. This topic of libraries was reported in the IELTS writing task 2 test and can also appear in speaking. Here are some ideas to help you answer this essay question.

IELTS Essay Question

Libraries should provide more books rather than invest in new technology such as computers and e-books. To what extent do you agree?

Ideas for this topic:

Libraries should invest in books

  • Not all books are available on digital format which means some specialised books are still in paper form.
  • Paper books are not easily lost unlike e-books which can be deleted accidentally or malfunction. Paper books are more reliable.
  • Libraries should be responsible for keeping paper books as one day the internet may not exist. It is a known fact that paper books are the only reliable and safe source of information.
  • Paper books help people focus and concentrate. They are not easily distracted. Reading online tempts people to search for new books, visit websites, and look up links rather than focus on the book they are reading.
  • Children should be given paper books to read rather than allowing them to read online which opens them up to uncensored sites.
  • Seeing a shelf full of books and topics is inspiring and stimulates the imagination.

Libraries should invest in technology

  • Technology, such as e-books, allow the same information to be stored in a fraction of the space. This is more cost effective than paper books because they need more storage space.
  • Computers allow users to locate information more quickly, providing better customer service.
  • Looking for and using books online is user friendly. This means people don’t need to leave their seat in order to find one or more books they want.
  • Technology is the way forward for all companies and services.
  • Providing more technology makes more services available as people can access the internet for more information than that provided solely by the library.

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  1. I just love your videos and tips you are doing an excellent job. I need some advice. I have my IELTS in 2 days. In this type of essay where you need to give an opinion do we need to mention the both sides. For eg in this essay can we like start of with first telling why books are better, then mentioning why internet is better and in the end saying that even though internet has advantages i prefer books? I will wait for your early response.

    Thank you.

    • If your essay question involves two things: books or technology, which is best? Your opinion must tackle both. If you agree that books are best, your opinion also means you think technology is less important – you need to explain both.

  2. Hi Liz
    in the problem and solution essay , can I write all the problem in one paragraph and the solution in another ? or there is another way to divide my essay
    Thank you in advanced

  3. Library is considered as a powerhouse of knowledge ,no matter what material is being used to provide information. However,some recommend to keep knowledge on shelves in forms of paper material such as books,magazines,newspapers etc rather than reliant on hi-tech boxes to store information. But I believe that both ways have their own significance in order to fascinate readers in library.
    First of all, keeping paper material in library is the reliable resource as one can read it any time whenever wants or any can borrow books as he desires with a little delay fee. Moreover it offers more concentration than reading on computers as they are highly distract the people. Even books do not need any kind of internet availablity as the computers do. For children,paper books are safer than e- books as thay can easily access to uncensored sites on internet. While seeing shelves full with books is again a resource of inspiration and motivation,sometimes.
    Similarly,internet services has been proved as a boon and miracle for library. Take an example of book detector gadgets,one can find any book in no time. Also in modern library,we come across many computer devices used to hold and return the books,which reduce the manual work of employees and also prevent the long queue over the reception. Modern society is fascinated by the hi- tech library which promote reading furthermore. However it need less space and less care as the paper books do.
    All in all,we can see both methods to store knowledge,do not overrated each other in any ways. Instead,they are interdependent and equally impart their roles in successful running of a modern library.

  4. Hi Liz,

    A month ago I took the ielts exam and got 7.5 overall in academic test, with a mark in written task of 6.5.

    I am very keen to improve my ielts to 8.5 overall and would like to ask what resources do you have regarding academic writing (e.g. essay corrections or …)

    Thank you.

  5. hello liz ,can you please suggest me what my response should be? some people think that universities should provide graduates with knowledge and skills needed in the work place.Others think that the true function of a university should be to give access to knowledge for its own sake weather the course is useful to an employer.

    what in your opinion should be the function of a university?

    liz should i discuss both sides,or only include my opinion by picking one side?


  6. hi teacher. I read a range of your topic but i really do not the way to give ideas for task. i wrote many essays but my English teachers in class talk with me the my essays are wrong about ideas and not focus on main topic. can you help me???

  7. Mohan Angbo says

    Hi Liz Madam,
    Would you mind me if I ask you a questions on the structure of some of the sentences of the above topic which I felt a bit uncomfortable to sense them ? They are :
    . Paper books are not easily lost unlike e-books which can be deleted accidental or malfunction. Paper books are more reliable.
    . Seen a full shell of books and topics is inspiring and stimulates the imagination.
    In my opinion, should not the use of “accidental” be accidentally (adverb) in the former sentence and, likewise should not the word “seen” be used “seeing” in the later sentence ? I hope that you would make me clear as I am weak in English.

  8. Hi Liz

    Some days ago I passed my speaking test. There were questions about free access to news. Advantages and disadvantages of it. Is it good to be informed?
    My answer was positive to this matter. I tried to give my own idea.

    May I know your opinion about that?

    Thank you

    • You don’t get points for ideas in IELTS speaking, you only get marks for language. But here are some ideas of the advantages of free access to news:

      Being aware of all developments and changes means people can make the right plans.
      Free access to news means that governments can’t hide information or alter information to retain control.
      Sharing scientific advancements freely means that the world will develop quicker.
      People would be able to decide for themselves what news is useful without editors and journalists making the decisions.

      But as I said, you get points in speaking for your language skills only. So even if your ideas are not strong, if your language is flexible, you will do well.

  9. Teshome Kebede says

    Dear Liz,

    May the Creator bless you for providing us some useful tips and good guidance in IELTS exam.


  10. I think libraries should invest in both books and technology. To be more specific, libraries had better retain a wide range of books from traditional to modern ones in order to support students’ demand on reading and acquiring more knowledge. Moreover, technology is truly indispensable in most of libraries today because thanks to computers, laptops, students are easy to access to useful tools in quickly finding information about their favorite books. Another good point of technology is that important data can be saved in files to avoid getting lost somewhere.

  11. Could anyone give the answer of this essay question !

  12. Since the major role of libraries is providing books, some people claim that it is waste of resource to provide that hi-tech media including e-books, DVDs and Videos. I completely disagree with this idea since I think the role of the library has been changed in modern society.

    On the one hand, I admit that prime reason for visiting libraries is to read books or magazines. The libraries update a lot of best seller’s books and newly published magazines on a regular bases. However, once the books are displayed in the shelves , these books are alive a longer time while the hi-tech materials are relatively short life-spans because these materials become obsolete shortly compared to the books. Also, since the libraries have limited funds and free for everybody, it would be a financial burden to allocate their budget to buy not only books but also expensive computer soft-wares, video tapes and DVDs.

    Nevertheless, I believe that today’s libraries should offer hi-tech materials too. First of all, we a re living in a digital era, people expect various services from the libraries, and otherwise it would be outdated. Secondly, acquiring the technology saves the money in a long run; as e-books allow the same information to be stored in a fraction of the space. In other words, it is more cost effective than paper books because they need less storage space and can save the forests. Similarly computers allow users to locate information more quickly,providing better customer service. Furthermore, looking for and using books online is user friendly. This means, people do not need to leave their seat in order to find the materials which they want to find.

    In conclusion, it is obvious that the main reason of visiting the public libraries is no longer to gain information just through books. Therefore, in my view, libraries should adopt a modern trend by equipping technological gadgets and media resource,

  13. narinderpal singh says

    this is really helpful
    thnku Liz mam

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