Monday, January 11, 2010

When was the last time you went to the library for something other than a movie?

Cameron and I were going through some of his school work today and were reading about how to research for a project. The book was colorful and interesting but it appeared to be old because it had pictures of a boy looking up info from a... wait for it... a real encyclopedia. I figured the curriculum was a little dated so I checked - it was published in 2009.

We then talked about how you can basically find everything on Wiki, Google, and YouTube but I felt bad for the library at the same time. "What will happen to our libraries", I thought? We have a great library here in Cranberry but I can't tell you the last time I actually went there to study something.

The writers of the curriculum had to have the same thought in mind in pitying our libraries. This is not an anti-plug for books with spines.. The Lord and my wife both know that I love my books but there has to be a better idea on the horizon for our libraries. Here's a quote from Seth Godin's blog I found interesting..


"What should libraries do to become relevant in the digital age? They can't survive as community-funded repositories for books that individuals don't want to own (or for reference books we can't afford to own.) More librarians are telling me (unhappily) that the number one thing they deliver to their patrons is free DVD rentals. That is not a long term strategy, nor is it particularly an uplifting use of our tax dollars. Here's my proposal: train people to take intellectual initiative. Once again, the net turns things upside down. The information is free now. No need to pool tax money to buy reference books. What we need to spend the money on are leaders, sherpas and teachers who will push everyone from kids to seniors to get very aggressive in finding and using information and in connecting with and leading others."


I agree with Seth. What are some thoughts you have on the future of the library?

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