Digital technology impact on libraries could be devastating Community Advocate The digital revolution is defining how the young and old will read and learn in the 21st century. The library of the future is here, today, on the internet.
Laura Wheatley's insight:
This gives good opinions on what may happen to digitalise libraries
Are Digital Libraries A 'Winner-Takes-All' Market? OverDrive Hopes So Forbes Potash is President and CEO of OverDrive, the Cleveland-based provider of technology for managing and distributing digital content for lending libraries.
To me, public libraries — the availability of free education for all — represent the collective commitment of a community to their future. They symbolize what is most important, a commitment to educating the next generation. The role of a public library should also adapt over time, and that time is finally here. It’s time to plan how we’re going to build the future and what place public libraries have, should have, or won’t have. The goal of this article is to get everyone talking about one of our great resources, the public library, and its future.
If you’re reading this, you’re likely not reading it in a public library. Computers are cheap, and internet access is pretty good for most people. The majority of people do not get their online news from terminals at the public library. At one time the library was “the living internet” — you went there to look up something hard to find, to do research — now it’s all at our fingertips through search engines, Wikipedia, and the web.
So where does this leave libraries? Last week I walked by the Borders on Broadway in NYC — it’s going out of business. There are many reasons, but I think most people will agree giant collections of books in giant buildings do not make as much sense (or cents!) any longer. Not commercially, and likely not publicly, such as in a library setting. So where does this leave the library? Maybe they’ll move more and more to eBooks with some weird library-DRM, collections of DVDs, and other media outside of books. But again, it’s usually better online, and available in our homes.
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From one standpoint, public libraries seem like a small thorn in the side of embattled publishers. They account for a small percentage of book sales, but bleed off more sales by lending bestsellers promiscuously. Publishers, anxious to discover the next Fifty Shades or Hunger Games have little time for their nattering and would prefer that the current fight over eBook pricing quietly disappeared.
But there is another side to public libraries in America: they are dynamic, versatile community centers. They welcomed more than 1.59 billion visitors in 2009 and lent books 2.4 billion times – more than 8 times for each citizen. More than half of young adults and seniors living in poverty in the United States used public libraries to access the Internet. They used this access, among other purposes to “find work, apply to college, secure government benefits, and learn about critical medical treatments” For all this, public libraries cost just $42 per citizen each year to maintain.
The Providence Journal eWave: Rhode Island libraries are bullish on high tech The Providence Journal Thanks to the Ocean State Libraries consortium, all public libraries are wired for Internet access and share an “eZone” of digital and audio books,...
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