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Defining our Future

I’m grateful to the Library as Incubator project[1] for drawing my attention to Chrystie Hill’s talk from the TedxRanier event[2] which took place on November 12, 2011 at the University of Washington, Kane Hall in Seattle. Hill is Community Services Director for OCLC’s  WebJunction, a Web-based community helping libraries meet their technology and training needs.[3]She also works as a consultant for the Gates Foundation. In her talk[4] Hill asks her audience to contemplate what a library of the future would look like, given the incredible shift in services and information to digital content, by asking the question: ”When everything is online, why come to the library at all?” If the library of the future is not about storing books, what is it? And, who gets to decide?

What do you think the library of the future should include? That’s right - - what should define our University Library in the future? What should our physical facility look like? How do you think our facility - - Randall Library, might change to meet that future? And, what about our virtual presence? How do you think our Web site might change to meet that future? What should our collections’ focus be? How do you think traditional collections might evolve to meet that future? What should the focus be in terms of service? How do you think traditional services might change to meet that future? 

This week a suggestion was made that the Library purchase or be given 200 Kindles. Is this what the library of the future - - UNCW’s library of the future, our library, should include? If the library of the future is not about storing books, is it about loaning devices? If it is not, as I suggest, about either storing books or loaning devices, what is it? Who gets to decide? Who gets to do what s/he or they want? And, what is allowed? Everything?  

 



[1]http://www.libraryasincubatorproject.org/(accessed 15 January 2012)

[2]TEDxRainier is “an independently organized TED event, a gathering of thinkers, entrepreneurs, academics, artists, environmentalists and engaged citizens working to design better futures.”   http://tedxrainier.com/2/ (accessed 15 January 2012)

[3]http://www.oclc.org/webjunction/default.htm(accessed 15 January 2012)

[4]http://tedxrainier.com/2/speaker_hill.asp(accessed 15 January 2012)