THEY ARE, in their very different ways, monuments of American civilization. The first is a building: a grand, beautiful Beaux-Arts structure of marble and stone occupying two blocks’ worth of Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan. The second is a delicate concoction of metal, plastic, and glass, just four and a half inches long, barely a third of an inch thick, and weighing five ounces. The first is the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, the main branch of the New York Public Library (NYPL). The second is an iPhone. Yet despite their obvious differences, for many people today they serve the same purpose: to read books. And in a development that even just thirty years ago would have seemed like the most absurd science fiction, there are now far more books available, far more quickly, on the iPhone than in the New York Public Library. — David A Bell, The New Republic, 12 July 2012
Missing the blogs for the ebooks -
The future for public libraries is not collection but curation of information sources – not in the simplistic manner of a Scoop.it account, but in a robust and personalised way. When our members ask for recommendations or assistance we should be able and willing to direct them to a range of publications from physical books and traditional journals to whole blogs, individual posts and even perhaps Twitter accounts and the like. Just because ‘its all online’ doesn’t mean people won’t need help to find it or know about it. The need to organise information in a meaningful way doesn’t diminish in a post-paper environment, and neither does the desire to discover new ideas. Curation and assisted discovery will take new forms as we bring together speakers, hands-on learning, online information and interactive storytelling. Librarians who ignore these opportunities are unlikely to have a future. Those who embrace them now should expect an exciting one.
Digital is becoming the horseless of our age -
The first thing Lascarides says to me is, “Digital is becoming the horseless of our age.” He’s referring to the late nineteenth century time that produced publications like, “Horseless Age,” the Wired of the early automobile era. His point is that the word “digital” is becoming unnecessary because “digital is woven into everything.” You add the adjective when you need to differentiate it from the world’s general expectations. After automobiles dominated the landscape, horselessness was assumed. Indeed, we all live in the horseless age, but very few of us feel the need to draw attention to that fact.
I dwell on this point not only because I like saying horseless age, but also because it’s a key element of how the NYPL encourages its staff to think. As May puts it, “Our strategy starts and ends with users.” They simply provide what the people want, and increasingly, that means combining brick-and-mortar offerings with digital collections and front-ends.
What Big Media Can Learn From the New York Public Library
The next “next generation library catalog” is not about find, instead it is about use. — Eric Lease Morgan
The world is changing very fast. Big will not beat small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow. — Rupert Murdoch
The Future of the Library
We need librarians more than we ever did. What we don’t need are mere clerks who guard dead paper. Librarians are too important to be a dwindling voice in our culture. For the right librarian, this is the chance of a lifetime. — Seth Godin - The future of the library