Thursday, April 29, 2010

"I've Got Google, Why Do I Need You?" (or, "Thoughts about the Future of Public Libraries" Part 1)

A provocative, well-argued and self-explantory presentation. By Ida Aalens (who's the student in question, I believe).

The provocation, to me, was akin to the little boy telling the crowd that the emperor isn't wearing any clothes (some of us librarians anyway).

This is the current reality for libraries and librarians:

The presentation is from the perspective of a mature student, enrolled in a higher-education course, in an academic library setting. But it's something that's equally applicable to the situation faced by public libraries.

Public libraries have a growing tech-savvy customer base. And every year more students, like the one in the presentation, graduate and join the workforce and become the public library customers (or choose not to).

The idea behind Ida's presentation isn't new. It's the way she presented her arguments that I found refreshing.

Viewing her slides was also timely for me. I've been meaning to post some thoughts about how public libraries should react to such a current reality.

Might as well start with the next few posts.

[Next: Part 2].

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