Libraries Threatened By Globalization?

Just to tie librarianship to yet another vast and baffling issue, here\'s Fiona Hunt\'s essay on the implications of globalization for libraries:

Public libraries are in the public domain, supported by public taxes. Imagine an information services company entering a market and demanding the same subsidies and tax support that public libraries get. It would be entitled to do so under national treatment rules, providing it can prove itself to be the same kind of operation. The government\'s most likely response would be to cut back on or eliminate public funding to libraries so as to avoid similar claims in the future. Libraries could find themselves forced to generate income to survive. The worst case scenario is that, without public funding, libraries could disappear altogether. The public would then be required to buy their information from information companies or from libraries, if libraries could stay afloat by charging for their services. Either way, the public would find itself paying for information that was once in the public domain. [More from the Progressive Librarian]

Also check out Rory\'s earlier posting on this subject.

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