Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The End of Literacy? Think Again

There's an insightful article in The Washington Post from February 17th about reading. This, in defiance to some recent comments about how people don't read anymore, was very encouraging stuff. I like writers/speakers who don't embrace the all-or-nothing thang. And here, Gardner leaves room for technology that hasn't yet arrived and how that may increase the need for and love of reading.

Bottom line, it's not going away. But it is changing. Which is what Library 2.0 to me, is all about. Positioning ourselves as libraries to be on the cutting edge of where reading and research and information gathering are headed. This craving for 24/7 services and 24/7 connection/communication, and there are libraries are still comfy in their difficult hours, lack of options for remote participation and NO CELL PHONES signs. We need desperately to, as Brad Fish suggests, stop looking backward by shifting our focus from the needs of those already using the library to those who aren't!


suzi w. said...

people are always asking me if books are going to go away and when Northland hit 1 million circs two summers ago, I think the answer is NO.

As we (Northland) move into our next 40 years, we are going to start counting online "visitors" as visitors and we are working on revising our cell phone policy so that some parts of the building are cell-friendly.

It's different, but as librarians, we are still dealing with books primarily. AND dealing with folks that read a lot online.

An aside, do we know why dearreader.com went away? (Because a lot of folks do read books one chapter at a time online.)

Suzi Wackerbarth
Northland Public Library

adaena said...

The people who believe libraries will become obsolete are likely the same ones who hold a romanticized notion of libraries...you know, those dusty, antiquated book vaults with the bespectacled, shooshing old ladies.