RE: Why are you for killing libraries?

Comment on blog posting: Why are you for killing libraries? http://www.librarything.com/thingology/index.php

I think it would be naive to believe that the ebook will not have much of an effect on either bookstores or libraries, once there is an ebook reader the equivalent of the Ipod, which will probably happen sooner rather than later.

I am a librarian, and although I love books, I look forward to the future. But the future holds danger. I compare the situation of libraries to the newspaper world, where journalists are in danger of losing everything, in a similar way librarians are faced with the same danger.

But this is where librarians can learn from the journalists. There is general agreement that journalists are still needed. Many of them are now beginning to differentiate the field of “journalism” from “working for a newspaper.” Since newspapers are in real danger, does that mean that the field of journalism is too? How can someone survive as a journalist without having to work for a newspaper? Some are deciding that it may be possible.

In the same way, there is the field of librarianship with our ethics and values, our skills and methods, and this differs from the tasks that we have of managing a physical collection. If libraries do not survive, or remain only as museums of “physical curiosities” (which is a possibility) does it mean that it is also the death knell for librarianship as a field? I don’t think so, that is, if librarians reorient themselves.

I think that librarians and journalists can survive and even thrive in the new environment, but I don’t know if newspapers and libraries will survive. If not, it will be a sad time, indeed.

Still, it should be a wild ride for everybody!

-369

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