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Library collections for learning
Updates and resources on policy development, resourcing the curriculum, collection evaluation and innovation in collections.
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The future of libraries: what the Guardian online debate found

The future of libraries: what the Guardian online debate found | Library collections for learning |

By Ian Anstice:

"The Guardian held one of its online debates on libraries today. The discussion between several library experts (managers, campaigners, councillors) and anyone contributing online. Around 200 comments were made so it’s a little condfusing: I’ve endeavoured to summarise below, although doubtless I have missed some things which some would consider important. Main threads and arguments.

Are libraries declining due to technological change? Libraries are still needed, in some ways more than ever: internet/online access essential and libraries provide the access and skills to those without either or both. Seven million have never used the internet. Wikipedia etc don’t cover all information and are prone to deletion, accidental or otherwise and is also not entirely trustworthy anyway.  Libraries provide quiet study spaces.  Children need the books and everyone needs serendipity that bookshelves allow.  Bookstock is declining due to budget cuts.  It’s not black and white – books and e-books will co-exist. Books are still in demand with 244 million loans in England 2011/12,

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Via Karen du Toit
Karen du Toit's curator insight, November 29, 2013 7:40 AM

Main threads and arguments in the discussions! Interesting!

Alexina's curator insight, November 30, 2013 8:00 PM

This is a short summary of an extensive online discussion about public libraries in the UK, but much of the discussion applies to USA libraries too. I like libraries referred to as "Idea stores".

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Collection Bashing & Trashing | Michael Stephens

Collection Bashing & Trashing | Michael Stephens | Library collections for learning |

"A few months ago in “Holding Us Back” (LJ 4/15/13, p. 42), I suggested that one of the things preventing librarians from working at web scale might be “a lingering emphasis on collections over users.” I and others have argued that the evolution of libraries and library service will include a pronounced shift from libraries as book warehouses to libraries as centers for discovery, learning, and creation via any number of platforms.

I might have been guilty of a bit of collection bashing in these discussions, and recent occurrences of collection trashing have given me pause. I still see the path forward detailed above as viable and inevitable, but we must also not forget that stewardship must not be sacrificed for a 3-D printer or a wall of monitors highlighting a digital collection.


I followed with great interest the weeding kerfuffle now known as #bookgate at the Urbana Free Library(UFL) in Illinois. Tweets, news stories, and Facebook shares painted a grim picture of a weeding project gone horribly wrong. In a nutshell: books more than ten years old were removed from the nonfiction collection without reference to any other criteria..."

Via Karen du Toit
Karen du Toit's curator insight, August 30, 2013 7:03 AM

Some thoughts on collections in a New Librarianship paradigm!