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Libraries in the age of inequality

“Trying to predict the future of anything — let alone public libraries — is a tricky task. But unequivocally we can say this: Libraries are not about to become purely digital endeavors. The notion that e-books will completely replace physical books is tired.So rather than dwelling on that topic, which has become a favorite pastime of armchair futurists, let’s focus on the people affected by libraries instead of the collections contained within them. Whether individuals prefer paperbacks or reading on a mobile device is trivial compared to the fact that American society is becoming highly unequal. The trend suggests a Dickensian future — albeit one filled with smartphones. The real question is: How will the mission of public libraries evolve in a world filled with such gross inequality?” (via Houston Chronicle)

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