“The Future Library” as a contested medal

“Robots, not Humans, retrieve your Books at $81 Million “Library of the Future!” Or “Library of the Future” is to be robotized front-office service rather than a human privilege of a professional book life-cycle articulation (at the front and at the back).

Isn’t it conformity to accept IT-age as a paradigm that lead existing industrial patterns and structures towards certain format replacements, by all means? Is the point about standardised vs. a personalised professional service design of “The Future Library”?

The assumed Paul Higgins/Martin B?rjesson’s diagonal approach to two scenarios – “To accept” or “To reject” what we have in store – is an adequate one when foreseeing the next generation library. From such a perspective a plausible scenario plot for “The Future Library” cannot “obviously replace” the crucial Peter Schwatrz’s identification of the predetermined elements, which in the case are:

  • books and book shelves;
  • library buildings, rooms, and organization; and
  • librarians.

Consequently, the elements of the current library service delivery need to be drawn attention so as they to become a reference point for the authorisation of future inherent roles. It would be myopia if a peculiar IT-age reformation would be perceived as other things being equal standard . No doubt, IT is a crucial driving force and a boots-trapper, but not a predominantly perceived leverage.

Then which of these are the library pillars that can delineate the format and the function of the Future Library Service?

It is more likely that Steve Jobs’ proponents will raise a claim by means of an iCloud Service of the Future Library. Certainly, Seth Godin’s advocates will start to sing the chant “We need librarians more than we ever did. Librarians are too important to be a dwindling voice in our culture”. What in fact do the librarians themselves think about the Future Library? No doubt they are the party under consideration: “To remain” or “To disappear”.

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