Posted by: bluesyemre | November 18, 2015

What Will Libraries Be Like in 2100? by Jim O’Donnell #Librariesofthefuture

This article is part of Future Tense, a collaboration among Arizona State University, New America, and Slate. On Nov. 12, Future Tense hosted an event in Washington, D.C., on the future of the library. You can watch a webcast of the event on the New America website.

So what will libraries be like in 2100?

That’s not so very far away. The next time you see a tiny baby, bear in mind that she or he has a very good chance of living to see the 22nd century. What will the world of libraries look like then? Nobody can know—but perhaps we can talk about what libraries should be in that imaginable future.

For instance, how many libraries will there be? I can think of two good answers, both of which I hope are correct—and one very bad answer, which I hope is entirely incorrect.

The first correct answer is simple. There will be a library: one library, globally comprehensive and globally accessible.

That vision means we think of libraries as collections, which is one thing they are. The old model depended on physical collections of material widely and strategically distributed in locations where communities or institutions could create, sustain, and support them. If consulting the Encyclopedia Britannica was a good thing, then every library worth its salt had to buy a set periodically and figure out what to do with the old edition it replaced.

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