Tag Archives: Future

The Future of Libraries in a Digital Culture

“During my morning run, I cut through the public library’s parking lot. My books are overdue, I remind myself. Like many Americans in the downturn, I’ve increased my use of the local public library. In 2011, OCLC — a library consortium — reported that library usage increased for 36 million Americans. All told, 69 percent of Americans currently use public libraries. My library is a remarkable value — a banquet of books and periodicals, earnest service, and free WiFi. Lately, libraries are playing an unheralded role in the economic recovery by helping people find work and build businesses.”

via Patricia Martin

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Will Public Libraries Become Extinct?

“As someone who has spent a fair amount of time analyzing business disruption, I think it’s pretty clear that libraries are eventually going to fade away. I understand that this isn’t a popular view, because libraries (and librarians) are awesome.

via Forbes

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Op ed: Seattle’s libraries need a makeover for the digital world

“THE library is dying. All across the country, branches are closing, shelves are shrinking, and budgets are tightening, in Seattle’s case, by an estimated $5 million. Fewer and fewer librarians can find jobs, and those who do find themselves underutilized and underappreciated. Most people don’t grasp the full extent of this decay. After all, most people haven’t set foot inside a library since Seattle had a basketball team. Why would they? In this new information age, we have smartphones, high-speed Internet, Wikipedia, Kindles and Nooks. The entirety of human knowledge is never more than a few clicks or taps away.”

via The Seattle Times

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Public libraries to lead initiative to ensure public access

“The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded a $99,957 grant to OCLC for a new initiative, “The Big Shift: Advancing Public Library Participation in Our Digital Future.” The purpose of the grant is to more fully understand the challenges that U.S. public libraries face in providing e-book content to borrowers, as they ensure that all Americans continue to have access to commercially produced content through their local public libraries, even as formats change. OCLC will partner with the American Library Association (ALA) and the Public Library Association (PLA) to review the e-book landscape and jointly develop recommendations for managing the e-book environment, in order to ensure adequate public access to these emerging resources.”

via OCLC

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Future of reading? ‘Active fiction’ lets readers make the call

PostMedia – “What if Romeo and Juliet lived happily ever after, or Van Helsing decided Dracula wasn’t worth the trouble? In a high-tech twist on Choose Your Own Adventure, “active fiction” imbues readers with precisely that kind of power. Launching this month in Amazon’s Kindle Store, Coliloquy e-books are peppered with “choice points” that allow readers to take the story in the direction most appealing to them — whether it’s experiencing a critical moment through another character’s eyes, setting the protagonist on a new path, or seeing what a sex scene would look like with a different partner.”

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Libraries and Museums Become Hands-On Learning Labs

Mind/Shift – “Earlier this month, we covered the Fayetteville Free Library‘s new Fab Lab, the public library’s plans to build a “makerspace” where library patrons could gain hands-on experience using 3D printers and other tools and could take programming and “shop” classes. It’s part of a larger movement to rethink and re-imagine what a public library will look like and what functions it will serve. While many people do see libraries solely as book repositories, it’s clear that the library is much more than that. For many, it’s an important community center and a place that offers access to digital tools and media.”

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Can 3D Printers Make Libraries Useful Again?

Gizmodo – “As the printed word gives way to digital distribution, libraries must change in both form and function in order to remain relevant in the Internet age. One New York book repository has taken the lead in this effort by installing the country’s first “maker’s space” within a public library. The effort is being spearheaded by Lauren Smedley of the Fayetteville Free Library. The Fayetteville facility, which is actually housed in an old furniture factory, is building a fabrication laboratory. The Fab Lab, as it’s called, will provide free public access to the machines and resources needed for home-scale manufacturing.”

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Q&A: Do libraries still matter?

Herald Sun – “When Deborah Jakubs, trained as a Latin American historian, decided to become a librarian in 1980, “we had card catalogs. There were no laptops or desktops. There were barely [personal] computers, really.” A year earlier, the University of Toronto Library had become one of the first academic libraries to convert its card catalog to an electronic format, and publish a detailed guide to help librarians instruct patrons in its use.”

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Library of the future: Wi-Fi, flat screens, automated book sorting

Chicago Breaking News – “The shiny, LED-lit future of libraries opened Monday in Bolingbrook, promising to be a technology blueprint for others as iPads, Kindles and Nooks replace dusty old paperbacks.”

“Crowds of curious and eager patrons visited the three-story, $39.5 million building featuring flat-screen TVs, computer terminals, self-checkout stations, an automated book sorter and a cafe. The Fountaindale Public Library, with its state-of-the-art, Wi-Fi equipped space, is starkly different from the previous antiquated library, a nearby one-story brick structure built in 1975 that awaits the wrecking ball.”

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