Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Who moved my... library book?

Google is undergoing a massive project: to digitize all of the world's books. The trend toward digitization and mass content distribution threatens libraries at a time when the funds available to them to keep up with the times are being severely cut.

How in the world can our libraries remain relevant? Will the library as we know it become a thing of the past?

According to an article by Scott Corwin, Elisabeth Hartley, and Harry Hawkes at Strategy+Business, "... even as the Internet encroaches on their turf, one seldom sees signs of lifelessness or decline at libraries. To be sure, some research libraries that have done little to stay current have lost visitors and are fading. But all over the world, from the East End of London to malls in Singapore to just about every part of New York City, libraries are serving hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, bustling with activity, and increasing the number of items they loan out. Their vitality is unmistakable."

For a comprehensive discussion of what libraries are doing, and can or should be doing - including the Seven Imperatives for Library Leadership, read the article, The Library Rebooted. (Free registration is required.)

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