[Web4lib] Shouldn't Libraries be Technology Hubs, instead?

Marc Davis marc.davis at drake.edu
Thu Oct 28 15:34:15 EDT 2010

Well, let's face the fact that libraries evolved in a time when social good and social betterment were not understood strictly in terms of profit and loss.  

In our post-liberal age, all that matters is profit and revenue streams.  Libraries, quite frankly, are anachronisms.

Marc Davis 515-271-1934 
Cowles Library | Drake University 
2507 University Avenue 
Des Moines, IA 50311 USA 

----- Original Message -----
From: "Heidi Rees (CHT)" <Heidi.Rees at gov.mb.ca>
To: "web4lib at webjunction.org" <web4lib at webjunction.org>
Sent: Thursday, October 28, 2010 2:22:58 PM
Subject: Re: [Web4lib] Shouldn't Libraries be Technology Hubs, instead?

"Shouldn't Libraries be Technology Hubs, instead?"

I would argue that libraries should be information hubs, and that libraries have always been about access, whether it was access to papyrus, scrolls, manuscripts, books, books-on-tape or e-books, rather than collection.

Of course my ideas don't solve technical and/or legal problems such as ownership rights, etc. However, thinking of libraries as locations (physical or virtual) for accessing information can help establish guidelines, policies or strategies that consider past, present and future needs of one's clients/patrons/users.

My 2.0594 cents (Canadian)

Heidi Rees
Cataloguer and Electronic Resources Librarian
Legislative Library of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba

-----Original Message-----
From: web4lib-bounces at webjunction.org [mailto:web4lib-bounces at webjunction.org] On Behalf Of Michael Schofield
Sent: October-28-10 12:57 PM
To: web4lib at webjunction.org
Cc: irreferential at gmail.com
Subject: [Web4lib] Shouldn't Libraries be Technology Hubs, instead?

After reading the Kindle Lending thread.

I wonder what draw there is in assuming [nostalgically] that libraries are 
about books. I've been willing to shred that idea when I started digitally 
archiving civil war stuff for my college library, and especially now that 
I've "grinded" through workshops and core graduate-level courses about 
collection development. I just can't hop on the bandwagon.

There is an excellent, if deeply buried, article in the latest WIRED 
magazine--which ironically wrote on its very profitable website, last month, 
that the internet was dead--about notions of ownership in a market favorable 
for "rentership." Of course, libraries have been all about renting/lending 
books, but that is only because libraries had the resources to acquire 
massive collections and distribute them for membership fees and tax dollars. 
Now that everyone increasingly has the resources to acquire massive 
collections, it seems obvious that libraries should--well--stop being about 
Collecting. Books shmooks.

Now, libraries *do* have the resources and--as members of local 
governments--the responsibility to dole out digital access, which others 
haven't. Denver just opened a Community Technology Center, You know, just 


Michael at BCPL

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