Not sure what role agents play anymore. Most of the experienced ones grew up under the old publishing model, so not sure how tuned into new realities they are. Probably still a necessity if you're trying to sell to Big but otherwise.
"The Denver, Colorado nonprofit literacy group Burning Through Pages has gone viral with a gorgeous black and white poster encouraging parents to share books with their kids." -‘These Are Your Kids on Books’ Poster Goes Viral By Jason Boog on May 2012