Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Thinking space for civilization

I am telling every librarian I can to read this : http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6716277.html

Q: What do you think is coming for publishing generally speaking and the idea of words on a page? How can information managers in a library environment either help influence public opinion or help content creators?

A: If I were a librarian now, I would attempt to conceive of the library from an experiential point of view. I would say, “What is the experience that is missing from the agora, from the world out there, from the private home? What is the experience that’s missing that we need in order to be human, in order to think, in order to consider?”

My own take on it would be that information availability in some sort of raw form is not a problem anymore, because of the Internet. It is for some people, as you well know; not everyone has Internet access or equal Internet access. Acknowledging all of that and just speaking in a very crude way that ignores [the digital divide] for a moment…if somebody has broadband at home, if they’re affluent, it doesn’t mean they have all they need. They still, in many cases, lack the time and space really to think in their lives. And, gradually, libraries will take on the role in civilization of providing that space. I don’t think the home will provide it anymore.

The thinking space where people can get to know themselves and get their ideas cogently arranged or what have you…

Q: So the cliché of the librarian going, “Shhhhhhhhh….” Oh, are we tired of that!

A: I’m sure you are, but, in a way, that is going to become something that is so desperately desired that I have a feeling there will be a new life for the library in which it provides the thinking space for civilization.

A thinking space for civilization.. that’s a good core service list for a libraries sharing/community + ideas/knowledge + beauty = civilization.

If I have been asking for months.. what are our principles? What can we offer that students don’t get elsewhere… there it is.



Blogger L. said...


7:31 a.m.  
Blogger elswhere said...

When I surveyed a few hundred Vancouver-area teenagers about the library a few years ago, a surprising number of them said they liked the quiet. There were some who said it was too quiet, too, and many who just wrote "quiet" in the open-ended question area without indicating whether they liked it or not. But a lot of them seemed to feel that the quiet was a good thing, and a rare quality.

9:37 a.m.  

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