Two interesting articles arrived in my in-box today. The first was written by the always outspoken Sarah Houghton, director of the San Rafael (CA) Public Library and author of the blog, Librarian in Black. In this post, Houghton vents her frustration with eBooks, a complaint not directed toward the technology itself (Houghton is a lover of technology, in fact), but instead contests the publishing industry and its treatment (READ: neglect and abuse) of their biggest single customer: libraries. Marvelously written and right on the money (caution: contains sprinklings of mature language).
The other was an article called The Bookless Library, which recently appeared in The New Republic. A history professor at Princeton University, author David Bell explores the wider ramifications of technology in libraries, and the way in which technology has affected social fabric and our perceptions of public institutions. His argument makes the future of “bookless libraries” seem very real.
What do you think? Both articles address issues which are directly faced by every public library, even those in small towns like Atchison.
(email Gary at firstname.lastname@example.org)