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Link: Public libraries: A long-overdue argument

A link recommendation for sharing and inspiration:

Public libraries: A long-overdue argument
Posted on August 27, 2011 by Richard Watson at his blog Whats’s Next: Top Trends, diary of an accidental futurist – observations on current & future trends

My favourite snippets:

“Public libraries are about more than mere facts, information or ‘content’. Public libraries are places where local people and ideas come together. They are spaces, local gathering places, where people exchange knowledge, wisdom, insight and, most importantly of all, human dignity. A good local library is not just about borrowing books or storing physical artefacts. It is where individuals become card-carrying members of a local community. They are places where people give as well as receive. Libraries are keystones delivering the building blocks of social cohesion, especially for the very young and the very old. They are where individuals come to sit quietly and think, free from the distractions of our digital age. They are where people come to ask for help in finding things, especially themselves. And the fact that they largely do this for nothing is nothing short of a miracle.”

“Libraries are about people, not just books, and librarians are about more than just saying “Shhh.” They are also about saying: “Psst – have a look at this.” They are sifters, guides and co-creators of human connection. Most of all they are cultural curators, not of paper, but of human history and ideas. In a world cluttered with too much instant opinion and we need good librarians more than ever.”

“In short, if libraries cease to exist, we will have to re-invent them. ”

Richard is the author of Future Minds: How the Digital Age is Changing Our Minds, Why this Matters and What We Can Do About It.

And I love his honesty in acknowledging that he was dead wrong about the extinction of libraries.


Posted on: August 28, 2011, 6:56 am Category: Uncategorized

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