Friday, January 21, 2011

Think Local

In his presentation How eBooks Impact Libraries” (or, “How Libraries Are Screwed” [part I and part II]), Eli Neiburger points out that since the codex is an outmoded technology so too is the cirucluating collection. Neiburger recalls the original purpose of libraries, which was not to subsidize access to commercial content for a community but rather to store and organize the content of a community. Libraries have a future if they return to a focus on preserving and providing access to what is most important to a local community—if they become places for unique content and experiences.

The image above is from part II: “Libraries were created to protect and ensure access to things like this for the communities that produced them, not to subsidize access to the hottest new clay tablets from Babylon. It’s these unique things that don’t exist anywhere else and that matter more to our own community than anyone else that have the future for libraries.”