Future of Libraries

Tim at LibraryThing has a short – and very to the point post at Thingology.

I have seen the future of libraries: It is to spend the future discussing the future of libraries.

I had to give a sad giggle at this post …

I don’t have much to add, but I do agree with commenter James:

Luckily I think there are some great libraries out there implementing rather than talking about the future. It does feel like there is a lot more talk than action though…

It does get tiring talking about change when there aren’t any signs of change actually happening. On a personal plus side – my library is taking a huge step towards change … a pretty cool change. I’m referring to the use of XQuery for our digital collections. As soon as I’m done moving I’ll make sure to write much more – but for now, this teaser will have to be enough.


  1. “…when there aren’t any signs of change actually happening.” ?? But aren’t there signs of change happening everywhere you look? Sure there are places & pockets & people dragging their heels and being fearful and resistant — but that is always and everywhere the case, so why even bother worrying about that? In EVERY library that I am actually personally familiar with (which includes academic, medical and public) there are pockets of exciting innovation and people embracing change. Not ever as fast as the people on the leading edge would like, but again, that’s always the case and is certainly not particular to libraries. Being a change agent is hard work, sure, but there’s nothing new about that. Some things don’t change.

  2. I’m sorry – I meant when you’re in a place where change isn’t happening – there is change happening all around us, but I know what it’s like to be surrounded by stagnation. I agree 100% with everything you’ve said here 🙂

  3. My issue with libraries is that everyone talks about change forever. Not just one or two years, but literally for-ev-err. And there always seems to be a long line of reasons why X can’t or shouldn’t be implemented. There is a lot of exciting stuff happening … but by and large we seem to be talking rather than doing.

    With our adoption rate, it’s no wonder the open web is kicking our butt on delivering most of the information and services that used to be our hallmark. The world isn’t going to sit around and wait for us to send everything through committee again.

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