If I\u2019d lived in the world according to Panos Mourdoukoutas growing up, I would have either bankrupted my family or read a whole lot less.\r\nAs a kid, most every trip to the Parksburg & Wood County Public Library ended with me checking out as many books as I was allowed \u2014 usually more than my scrawny arms could safely carry. Luckily, my parents were always happy to give me a hand, and a ride to and from my favorite place.\r\nThose bi-weekly visits remain some of my happiest memories. Even now, while the trips are much fewer and further between, going to the library is still a pleasure I enjoy.\r\nSo, when I caught wind of Mourdoukoutas\u2019 controversial Forbes article a few days ago, I was mad. His argument that libraries aren\u2019t worth taxpayers\u2019 money and should be replaced with Amazon bookstores is preposterous.\r\nAnd I\u2019m far from the only one who thinks so. Public outcry caused Forbes to take down the op-ed from its website and issue the statement: \u201cThis article was outside of this contributor\u2019s specific area of expertise, and has since been removed.\u201d\r\nAs a professor though, you would think that Mourdoukoutas would be inclined to champion the educational services that libraries provide to communities across the county \u2014 which stretch well beyond the books on their shelves.\r\nOur own library system offers story times, coupon swaps, access to the Internet and a host of databases, help with finding jobs and career training, after-school and educational programs, DVDs, downloadable audio books, ebooks and music, and movie nights. And that\u2019s just what I know from memory and a quick search on the Morgantown Public Library System website. (If you do want to keep up with all of our libraries\u2019 activities and offerings, check out the library column which runs most Wednesdays in our paper\u2019s Food & Fodder section.)\r\nInterestingly, Forbes published an article in 2013 titled \u201cWhy Public Libraries Matter: And How They Can Do More.\u201d In it, contributor David Vinjamuri writes that libraries \u201cwelcomed more than 1.59 billion visitors in 2009 and lent books 2.4 billion times \u2014 more than 8 times for each citizen.\r\n\u201cMore than half of young adults and seniors living in poverty in the United States used public libraries to access the Internet. They used this access, among other purposes to \u2018find work, apply to college, secure government benefits, and learn about critical medical treatments\u2019 For all this, public libraries cost just $42 per citizen each year to maintain.\u201d\r\nGiven that 2009 was a almost a decade ago, I\u2019m sure that those statistics are a little different today. (Although, as of 2016, the Pew Research Center said trends in visiting public libraries have steadied.) And I\u2019m not sure exactly what percentage of my tax dollars help facilitate the services area libraries provide, but I don\u2019t care. Unlike Mourdoukoutas, I\u2019m more than happy to pay it.