Jaron Lanier on the Future of Libraries

I love Jaron Lanier’s take on the future of libraries:

The question of what should happen to libraries is a hard one…. Not all libraries are the same,” he said. “Some libraries have a particular culture of scholarship around them and that’s what they should be about—that culture. Some libraries have an urban culture around them or a community around them, and they should be about that…. I think the thing to do is to not think of the library as an abstract category, but to look at what [a specific library] is actually achieving and how it matters to people, and try to understand that. What in that should be preserved or should be a seed for what comes next?

(This is the last paragraph of the article Computer Science Pioneer Jaron Lanier Discusses Big Data, Privacy at NYPL by Matt Enis, posted on The Digital Shift on October 15, 2013.)

The End Of The Library?

I just read this post on TechCrunch:

The End Of The Library by MG Siegler (posted on October 13, 2013)

Obviously, this post is generating huge reactions among some librarians. There’s not a lot for me to add to the discussion on the future of libraries that I didn’t say in my post Another Librarian’s Response to “What’s a Library?” and in my response to Terry Deary when he suggested that libraries are no longer relevant.

In particular:

He doesn’t see our research resources, our literacy initiatives, our job search assistance, our government documents collections, or our social services. He doesn’t see our partnerships with local school systems and cultural institutions. He doesn’t see community use spaces and safe places to for people to hang out. He doesn’t see a champion of informed democracy and self-improvement. He doesn’t see librarians as curators of information, experts to guide people through society’s myriad information resources.

Continue reading “The End Of The Library?”