Not a Prophesy

Bob Kaehr writes:

When in the not-too-distant future (five-to-10 years) nearly all
books and periodicals become digital and libraries become archives, what
will happen to academic (even school, public and special) library personnel?
Will libraries be taken over or delivered into the hands of information
services? Will there be mass dismissals of traditional \"book people\"? Oh,
that\'s right, we\'ll just re-train? :>} Will faculty, who can teach \"library
exercises\" from within the classroom (e.g. How to Use Information
Databases), need traditional BI? Will there need to be circulation
personnel other than a clerk and a few aids to charge and discharge those
oldies but goodies? Will for-profit companies become the selectors for the
various publics by virtue of the collections they are able to offer?

Continued... Related questions come to mind: Will ebook/ejournal companies be
able to provide cost-effective collections that serve the needs of the
various communities we serve? Will there be problems in keeping such a
collection (e-collections from various companies) organized for easy
browsing and retrieval? Will people embrace the ebook/eperiodical? Of course
realize that in academe most students do not read much more than those that
are assignment-related. Will faculty and administration accept librarians
(or whatever they are called) as professional necessities in both
selecting/maintaining and teaching the best use and searching of this
database/online world? It might be that (at least in the world of academe)
many professors feel they can teach this library stuff as well as and faster than
the librarians, and many administrators may agree (It certainly would be a
cheaper alternative.).


This is all just food for thought, not a prophesy.

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