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Posts Tagged ‘Library as place’

This is the launch of a new blog that I hope will be a forum about libraries for the public. I’ve worked in the library field for years and know that librarians share a lot of information with each other. The goal of this blog is to share some of that  info with you (adding my perspective, of course) and then see what unfolds in the coming weeks and months.

Earlier this month Laura Miller published an article on Salon.com saying why libraries still matter. She touched on some threats to public libraries including cuts to funding, Google and e-readers. Then she went on to plug value the “library as place” which is a phrase often used by librarians to describe one of numerous elements that continue to make the institution relevant.

Even before the Internet came on the scene librarians and their supporters were using the concept of “library as place” in a fluid way. Librarians have tossed around the idea of “library without walls” at least since the 1970s. But the Internet and the accompanying rise in digital content along with the expanding use of devices to access and that content has created a strong imperative for libraries to offer their services beyond their walls.

While the library buildings have retained importance for those who visit and use them, the “place” to learn and discover is now online. That tipping point occurred years ago. Yet libraries have been slow to adapt. Whether they’ve done so at their peril still remains to be seen. Part of the purpose of this blog is to get feedback over time that will take your temperature about a variety of trends, innovations and challenges that face libraries. I look forward to the conversation.

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