A friend alerted me to this article, and I feel it’s very much related to yesterday’s post.
Yes, a book-less library. And do you want to know something? (Of course you do, my opinions are always the shining highlight of your days.) I’m perfectly happy with this.
Yes, I am a librarian and I am perfectly happy with a book-less library. Heck, I’m a rare books librarian and I’m fine with this. Why? Because libraries are NOT repositories for books, and librarians are not the keepers of books. We aren’t book-hoarding dragons who sleep upon our piles of treasure and regulate who can borrow what.
Libraries provide access to information, and librarians facilitate this. A library is a bastion of knowledge, and nowadays most knowledge can be accessed digitally.
Libraries and librarians need to take the needs of their patrons into consideration in all things; the library is, after all, there to serve the public. If a book-less library optimally serves the public then it’s totally viable. There are issues associated with a wholly digital library, of course; instead of the issue of physical space you have the issue of needing the technology to facilitate patrons. Think on this: in a library that provides information via books, you can fill the building to capacity and everyone will be able to do what they need to do (unless everyone needs to access the exact same book; my eleventh-grade high school English teacher, I’m looking at you). But in a digital library, you’re limited by the amount of computers you can house. There will always be issues librarians have to deal with, but they always strive to best serve the needs of those they serve.
So a book-less library is still a library and no, the printed book is still not dead.