Friday, January 27, 2012

Books and libraries and publishers

I've just finished the link to Bobbi Newman's slides about libraries changing to meet the transliteracy needs of their patrons. I don't have the answers but I am glad to see the likes of Macmillan CEO John Sargent at least attempting to get discussing the future.

I really liked the one slide of Newman's that says anything that is invented when we are born is the normal way of doing things, anything invented when we are between the ages of 15 and 35 is new and innovative and exciting, and anything invented after that is viewed as against the natural order of things.  Printed books are the natural order of things for me, but if printed books were reduced (eliminated all together?) and one could only access a book on an e-reader,  could that be the normal for my grandchildren? (Newman's slides are thought provoking and worth looking at)

The industries involved in this debate - libraries, publishers, booksellers, authors - need to be engaged and thinking of how they will adapt to the future. There's nothing new about industries disappearing from our landscape because they didn't adapt.  But this is so important to society - it's not only how we communicate our values, fears, etc, it is how we leave a record for future generations.

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