The Revolution Isn’t Just Digital | American Libraries Magazine | library technology |

ALAN S. INOUYE: The impact of the digital revolution on libraries & librarians:


"In fall 2011, ALA established a Digital Content and Libraries Working Group and an associated initiative. In an Association-wide effort, members and staff from ALA’s divisions, offices, and other bodies are being coordinated to pursue short-term and long-term activities to advance the interests of the library community. These activities will provide support for the library community, as well as communication and advocacy with the general public and other key stakeholders such as publishers, other information intermediaries, and government agencies.

But ALA can only go so far. You must take action to meet your own institutional challenges. Take a hard look at how you are doing business, assess what resources you have, and consider whether you are well positioned for the challenges ahead. (Confronting the Future provides some direction on how to frame this strategy development.) The main driver of change in the past 10 years may have been the digital revolution, but these changes also have serious organizational implications for libraries.

Get involved in grassroots action. You can negotiate directly with publishers and intermediaries, perhaps in collaboration with other librarians or such organizations as library cooperatives and state libraries. Spread the word among your patrons, local government officials, local newspapers, and other media.

What are you doing for your library and your profession?"


ALAN S. INOUYE is the program manager of ALA’s new initiative on digital content and libraries. He is also director of the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy, based in Washington, D.C.

Via Karen du Toit, Dailin Shaido