Seth Godin on the future of Libraries

The next library is a place, still. A place where people come together to do co-working and coordinate and invent projects worth working on together. Aided by a librarian who understands the Mesh, a librarian who can bring domain knowledge and people knowledge and access to information to bear.

This! What Seth Godin sees as the future of libraries is very similar to what I see. It’s not the container of information we should be worried about – it’s the information itself. If it comes in e-book format or through an online database or via a very old, very delicate manuscript, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that people (our patrons) can access that information and the knowledge and skills to wrangle it (in the form of a librarian, of course). I’ve written before about making the library co-working friendly and have long advocated for more and better technology to be put in place for our patrons so that they can “coordinate and invent projects woth working on together”. I’ve been pushing collaboration between librarians, patrons and the library and between patrons themselves for years! I can’t say that I agree with everything that Seth said in his post – it seems like his reference to a librarian helping someone use a soldering iron is a nod toward the recent article in Make about libraries being tool shops. I’m not so sure about that one… The idea that libraries should provide a community space that is full of information – in whatever form it takes – is one I’ve been advocating for a while and I’m very glad to see others thinking the same way.

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