Monday, September 20, 2010

Bookless Library - terrifying or visionary?

I don't quite know why, but I'm just a little creeped out by the idea of a bookless library.  Silly I know, as it's probably the way of the future -- online library facilities like the one I use at the Uni of Newcastle are mega convenient, and have saved me many hours and provided me with resources I could never access in the past without access to a large city facility.  The 16 story National Library of Singapore is a classic example, with its use of radio-frequency identification (RFID), and the use of electronic borrowing.  It's visionary, and without doubt, the future of libraries and a smart way to bring in more readers and service a global population.

The world is changing, and I'm something of an IT geek myself, yet...

I just love visiting our little local library.  The librarians all know me, and my kids just like to browse through the books, the DVDs, the CDs, and talking books to find gems they didn't know they wanted.  You can't do that so easily online.  The librarian sometimes tells me about books he knows I'll love.  They get all excited when I come and read from my books.  They visit local schools and talk to the schoolchildren.  They have storytime and 'books and bickies', and exhibit local artwork, and help people jobseek and it's just so nice and warm - a place that I can walk into anytime, even if I don't plan on taking something out, and sit at one of the tables and just read, relax, and feel utterly, invariably, at home.  I'd so miss it if it became a virtual space rather than a real place. 

1 comment:

  1. I find the bookless library idea terrifying and not a place I'd want to visit. To me the whole point of going to a library is to surround myself with books, books and more books.