The Future of Libraries

I read an interesting article last night about the future of libraries. In “The Future of the Library,” Seth Godin describes libraries, their history and their future. Here are just a few things from his article:

“Just in time for [today’s] information economy, the library ought to be the local nerve center for information … There are one thousand things that could be done in a place like this, all built around one mission: take the world of data, combine it with the people in this community and create value.”

Libraries are just as relevant today as they were before the digital revolution. But, libraries have changed.  “The next library is a place, still. A place where people come together to do co-working and coordinate and invent projects worth working on together. Aided by a librarian who understands the Mesh, a librarian who can bring domain knowledge and people knowledge and access to information to bear. Libraries are “less like warehouses and more like intellectual crossroads for working, learning, teaching, and new types of programs” [Source: U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, 2006 Symposium]

While reading this article, I was thinking about our library and about the wealth of information that is available in the materials we have on the shelves or in electronic resources. Some students ask why they need to learn about library databases or how to find books. They believe everything is on the Internet. Everything is not on the Internet and what is there may not be authoritative or current. The Internet can be a valuable tool but it is only one tool you may use for research. Librarians can help you find credible resources on the Internet as well as teach you how to access and use other types of resources including books and databases.  

Seth Godin’s article can be found at http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/05/the-future-of-the-library.html

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