The End of the Library
MG Siegler asks if it is “that crazy a notion” to wonder if libraries will continue to exist in the future. He goes on to state that librarians are “not allowed to answer that.” But isn’t this like wondering if TechCrunch will exist in the future, and then disallowing TechCrunch columnists from answering that?
I would argue that, as a librarian, it is not only my professional duty but my moral imperative to evaluate the efficacy and strategy of the library as it currently exists, and to make my best suggestions for how it should improve and change in the future. And believe me, it should improve and change.
Siegler goes on to talk about the economics of e-books, which is a valuable discussion, but diminishes the role of the library in a community to a book repository, a stereotype we’ve encountered many times over. People who can spend their income on books, computers, and smartphones often make the mistake of stereotyping the library in this way, but others less affluent cannot afford to make the same mistake.
I link it here not because it is a particularly thought-provoking read but it is important for librarians to understand how some people stereotype libraries and speak about this stereotype as if it is fact, and then “disallow” us from weighing in on the conversation because of our own bias. What about your bias, tech columnists?