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Old 07-28-2011, 05:16 PM
 
53 posts, read 64,583 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UKyank View Post
Where are these? Not trying to be difficult, just legitamately wondering as every library I have been to in the area have been the same as any I have ever been in..... books, magazines, movies & cd's to check out & some computers to surf the internet with & people quietly browsing around these or reading.
What's your conception of a modern library? Seems like you're taking my comment to mean that a "modern" library can't have the things you've listed. Just in your example alone, you've named ways in which the library as an institution has evolved over the past three decades. A library of the early 80s would have been unlikely to have movies or computers, for instance.

I've already stated that I don't personally believe it's necessarily an either/or proposition of traditional media vs technology-- at least not when it comes to a public library setting. Public libraries will have a mix of technology and traditional media to serve their local populations.

Since you asked for actual libraries, check out the DOK (Delft Public Library in Holland) which some consider one of the most modern libraries in the world. The National Library of the Czech Republic will also be an extremely modern facility when completed (architecture not to my personal taste). Here in the States, Seattle has multiple libraries that are considered to be among the most modern in the world (and the city also is the most literate in the nation-- but Pgh still ranks top 10, in part due to the Carnegie libraries and extensive Allegheny county network of libraries, but this ranking has fallen during this decade). Libraries need not be hulking leeches of energy, either. I actually visited the most green building in all of East Asia-- and it happens to be a beautiful library. Wonderful in design and function.

Maybe the above examples will disappoint your idea of the modern library, though, for all do contain books- among many other things.

Libraries are human institutions- we have the power to change and improve how they function. Each one aims to be customized to the needs of its community. The ones of today are changing to adapt to our needs, just as they have for thousands of years. As I've said before, libraries that get the necessary funding and support become jewels of their communities.

Last edited by newpgher; 07-28-2011 at 05:29 PM..
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:38 PM
 
5,629 posts, read 4,848,171 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newpgher View Post
What's your conception of a modern library? Seems like you're taking my comment to mean that a "modern" library can't have the things you've listed. Just in your example alone, you've named ways in which the library as an institution has evolved over the past three decades. A library of the early 80s would have been unlikely to have movies or computers, for instance.

I've already stated that I don't personally believe it's necessarily an either/or proposition of traditional media vs technology-- at least not when it comes to a public library setting. Public libraries will have a mix of technology and traditional media to serve their local populations.
I wasnt hating on libraries, I just took (incorrectly i guess) from your previous post regarding institutional transitioning that libraries had changed in a significant way (other than updating the media i.e. dvd's instead of vhs or adding computers to browse on) that I was unaware of and was curious as to what/where that was.
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:43 PM
 
53 posts, read 64,583 times
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There are very specialized libraries that are radically different from the conventional models, but those for the most part aren't under the category of public library, which is the kind that would be affected by that proposed referendum.
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:49 PM
 
Location: SS Slopes
251 posts, read 281,413 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newpgher View Post
What BrianTH talks about is already happening in many libraries across the country- and the world. It's not exactly a stretch. Libraries have been evolving since ancient times. There's a reason why all of the great civilizations were in part measured through the grandeur and completeness of their libraries. Libraries have never been just about papyrus/scrolls/books/microfilm, etc, but about information and knowledge- not all of which is accessible through Google.

The modern library is not an either/or proposition of books versus technology.
Not to resurrect a dead thread or anything, but just because it's not available through Google doesn't mean it's not online. And realistically it's to the point now where Google as a whole holds more information or links to information than one could ever hope to find in a single physical edifice, save maybe the absolute largest ones. Especially with the millions of books they have digitized over the past few years. The only snafu is copyright, and the proliferation of filesharing sites and peer-to-peer networks pick up the slack there (which ironically enough are often blocked on library computers!).

Students everywhere are graduating without ever having physically touched a scholarly journal. College book stores are ordering less texts than students because they know a certain percentage of them are just going to grab them from Bit Torrent for free. Kids are being raised never knowing what it means to select and open a volume of a physical encyclopedia. Now will you occasionally find something somewhere that is unavailable online? Sure, but if it is that rare, it's going to be unavailable in most physical libraries too.

Plus on top of all the formal published writings, the wealth of informal knowledge contained in forums and blogs and the ability to interact with the people writing them is simply unparalleled in the tangible world. In the rare case I can't find what I'm looking for online then I can usually then find someone who can, and probably more effectively than a general librarian.

The deck seems pretty stacked to me. If I could only have access to either the Library of Congress or an internet connection, I know which I'd choose. I don't think libraries have to die, I just think most are eventually going to have to come to terms with the impracticality of paying for and maintaining large buildings over something more akin to a small internet cafe.
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