TX Library Survives Consultant's Recommendations

In this column from the Dallas/Fort Worth Star Telegram, columnist Dave Lieber talks about visiting the Colleyville (TX) library on its re-opening day and expresses his gratitude that the suggestions offered by a "purple-haired" library consultant were ignored. In 1999 the city contracted with a consultant who recommended against a traditional library because,"it has also become apparent that using books for information needs is often not as quick, as comprehensive, as convenient, or as satisfying as using a computer."

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The missed brick-and-click connection

OK, now it's my turn to play Luddite and heartily approve of Colleyville's rejection of the malarkey from the Purple Haired Library Eater.

Just a fraction of a fraction of books are now in digital formats, and beyond that, it would be clueless of the city to suddenly make a transition without keeping local wishes in mind.

I continue to believe that e-books are the future, but libraries must serve the Here and Now.

Of course, libraries should think about ways to modernize their institutions and move toward e-books in a patron-friendly, evolutionary way. One possibility, among many, would be for librarians to master blogging, as more and more are already doing. But that's not enough by itself. Librarians could also serve as blog mentors and encourage local civic groups, teachers, students, etc., to start blogs that among other items could link to local library resoruces--including, yes, p-book citations. A few more thoughts are at TeleRead.

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