What is a library anymore, anyway?


Martin Raish points to an Interesting One @ First Monday. Michael A. Keller, Victoria A. Reich, and Andrew C. Herkovic write about how libraries in the future will undertake local control, especially for long-term preservation and accessibility of digital as well as analog collections.

"We have observed a propensity for information technologists to predict
with complete confidence the imminent demise of libraries. The seeds of
this prognostication may date back to Vannevar Bush's seminal paper of
1945, but the forest of such predictions has grown thick in the past
decade. In our observation, the confidence with which such predictions
are made is inversely proportional to the predictor's professional
habitual use of published information. . . .

So to some extent the question of what is a library anymore could be one
about which, "if you have to ask the question, you wouldn't understand
the answer." Our intention is to attempt the answer anyway."

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