Not in general, mind you, but he’s pretty obviously running with one of the great incorrect assumptions about the Internet – “you can find anything on the net!” (And come on, the implicit dismissal of public libraries means exactly that.)
You hear this all the time, usually from people who think Google and/or Wikipedia are the fonts of all knowledge. Don’t get me wrong – Google and Wikipedia are awesome sauce, fundamentally changing how we can learn. But they don’t and never have had everything. Wikipedia doesn’t have a whole lot on the specifics of Byzantine armour, for example. Google cannot point you to theprinciplesofrotaryaircraftdesign.com, because it doesn’t exist and neither does anything else like it. Obviously we could go on at length about stuff that’s hard to find on the blogotubes, but that’s not the point; the point is that the internet is, by and large, fantastic for general and introductory information, and then very hit and miss when it comes to specifics. (Google Scholar was created for a reason.)
One of the most valuable points I heard Gail Simone make when she was doing her “introduction to comics writing” seminar at a recent con I attended (and if she ever reads this – Gail, you did fine, and it’s not your fault a lot of your audience was kind of dumb) was that one of the most valuable elements any comics writer or artist (and I would extend her point to “any creative individual working in descriptive narrative form”) can have is a personal reference library, filled with those giant picture/photo-books, the ones with titles like “So You Want To Know What 50,000 Different Guns Look Like” or “The Total Completist’s Guide To The Trains Of Eastern Europe” – to say nothing of history books, science manuals, compilations of “Ripley’s Believe It… or Not!”, et cetera. This is because Wikipedia, for any writer, is a mixed blessing – sure, it lets you become instantly grounded in the basics of any setting or factoid you require, but on the other hand, all you’re getting is the basics, and there’s always so much depth that Wikipedia cannot hope to plumb.
And this is just basic reference material we’re talking about here – stuff you can actually use to learn professionally is generally not going to pop up for free on the blogotubes because there’s no real incentive for anybody to put it out there for free. This is why libraries exist in the first place, you understand – to make available to the general public what otherwise would not be available, to democratize information. That need isn’t going away anytime in the near future. And that’s why libraries are still relevant in the digital age.