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Nick, David, Marc: Thank you for sharing your thoughts with everyone on the listserv – very encouraging in terms of civic duty, professional responsibility, etc.


Halifax’s new Central Library comes to mind. It’s not just a new source of books & computers people are excited about: it’s the social space. OUR space. I suspect that as even more facets of our lives move online, physical public spaces will become that much more cherished – like the “cool factor” of LPs and books, multiplied by 1000.




Corinne Gilroy




The Mount Library – Reserves & Reference

Mount Saint Vincent University

(902) 457-6505



From: APLA-List List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Nick Warren
Sent: January-14-14 3:48 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [APLA] : ALA Free Webinar: The Future of Libraries


I agree with David and see the space as being very important, as well as competent staff who know how to navigate the research, community and digital worlds. Moreover, from a public library perspective, the idea of digital creation centres as brought up in the presentation sounds great: 3-D printers, powerful video and sound-editing computers, rooms and sections where noise is allowed and discussion encouraged: these things should exist along with quiet study sections, good old fashioned print, download stations, video game rooms/stations, government information stations (I'd like to see gov. docs. redone to be a workstation or two with helpful, up-to-date guides and staff on how to actually navigate government sites to enable citizens to participate in democracy)... Also, I see print books eventually becoming, or re-emerging as "cool" along the same line as LPs did. And, of course, programming is very important. Public libraries need to be spaces where documentaries can be shown, where authors read, poetry is taught, local history lectures given, introvert teens are invited to be themselves in good company, and so forth. 

Libraries have been declining in importance for a long time, and perhaps the key to all this is to convince both government and public that libraries still matter; a difficult task indeed, given the internet has taken the place of the library in many, if not most people's minds. We're going to need money, bold actions and open minds to succeed, or the future of libraries will be quite bleak and involve the quaint dust-bin of history.


On Tue, Jan 14, 2014 at 2:01 PM, David Michels <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Marc posed an interesting question about the future of libraries and the focus on technology: "Is there really nothing more to look forward to than becoming a bad cross between the iStore and Best Buy?"

My vision of future libraries focuses on the things we can do better than Google/Apple/Microsoft.  Being a real third space:  a community and learning space where people interact and discover.   Being an expert space where skillful staff know the subjects and their clients, and have relationships with the communities they serve.  Being an intermediary space that recognizes that often research and researchers are complex, and maybe there is work to do before we have a question to ask SIRI.  Books, journals, data, information, etc. will always be part of what we do, but it is what we do with it that helps make it all useful.

Any conferences on that?


David H. Michels MA MLIS PhD(cand.)
Public Services Librarian
Rm L213, Sir James Dunn Law Library
Dalhousie University
6061 University Avenue, PO Box 15000
Halifax, Nova Scotia  B3H 4R2
902 494-8856
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View my research on my SSRN Author page:

From: APLA-List List <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Marc Truitt <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: January-08-14 3:19 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [APLA] : ALA Free Webinar:  The Future of Libraries

Hash: SHA1

On 01/08/2014 02:51 PM, Laurinda Matheson wrote:
> The Future of Libraries: What’s Your Vision?
> This Thursday, January 9, 2014 2:00pm Eastern | 1:00pm Central |
> 12:00pm Mountain | 11:00am Pacific
> What challenges and changes lie ahead for our libraries? In "The
> Future of Libraries: What's Your Vision?" our panel will look into
> the crystal ball and discuss the possibilities

Question:  Wouldn't it be great if once -- just once! -- our
profession could put on a presentation that imagined a vision for
future libraries as something other than vapid celebrations of
high-tech gadgetry?  Is there really nothing more to look forward to
than becoming a bad cross between the iStore and Best Buy?


- - mt

- --
Marc Truitt
University Librarian                voice  : 506-364-2567
Mount Allison University            e-mail : [log in to unmask]
Libraries and Archives              fax    : 506-364-2617
49 York Street                      cell   : 506-232-0503
Sackville, NB  E4L 1C6

"It's not that the left-wing professorial coup has taken over the
university.  It's that at American universities, left-liberal politics
have collided with the ethos of consumerism.  The consumer ethos is

                                    -- Mark Edmundson (1997)

              Wearing the sensible shoes proudly since 1978!
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-Nick (Nicholas)