What do you think: Are libraries necessary in the electronic age?
A few years ago I posted a lament about my sad discovery that the place I interned lacked a library.
Today I heard we may be either moving and reducing or maybe even all-but-closing our library at work. I’m sad.
When you’re driving change, you need to accelerate the rate you learn by acquiring the condensed information of other people’s experiences so you can copy their successes and avoid their failures. The fastest way to learn those lessons is through reading: books, periodicals and internet sites too.
The best way to acquire and share books, related to the change you’re trying to drive, is to have your local or workplace library invest in those books. Then, anyone can access the book that everyone is talking about, and each person doesn’t need to buy their own books or instead spend their evening driving out to Barnes & Noble to flip through a copy. Its both more convenient and more practical to allow people to wander over to the library’s location, skim the table of contents of the book, maybe read the introduction and decide if the book is for them.
Plus, I’ve found that a workplace library always illuminates a part of the workplace’s culture, answering: Are they curious? What are they curious about? And what history do they retain and celebrate?
If I get a vote (which I don’t think I do), I’d vote for my workplace’s library to move, if it must, to where the most people are (for easy individual access). Then, I’d vote for the library to expand instead of contract to an electronic shell of its former self.
These are just my thoughts.
What do you think?