Friday, November 11, 2005

The DaVinci Institute's The Future of Libraries

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A new contribution to the growing body of literature about the future of libraries, this report takes the novel approach of avoiding doom-saying. While I'm a little skeptical about the prediction that our culture will transition to a completely verbal one by 2050 (i.e., non-literate within my lifetime?)...

Trend #6 - Over time we will be transitioning to a verbal society
...Dr William Crossman, Founder/Director of the CompSpeak 2050 Institute for the Study of Talking Computers and Oral Cultures, predicts that as we say goodbye to keyboards we will begin the transition to a verbal society. He also predicts that by 2050 literacy will be dead.
While the accuracy of his dates and the wholesale transition from literacy to a verbal society may be debatable, there will undoubtedly be a strong trend towards verbal information. Computers will become more human-like with personalities, traits, and other characteristics that will give us the sense of being in a room with other humans.

...many of the trends discussed here fall in line with the idea I advanced in my thesis--that libraries should re-establish their place in the community as cultural centers. Here they're advocating for physical spaces in the library for cultural activities, while I argued for an online space for such activities (namely, but not limited to, fanfic).
The notion of becoming a cultural center is an expansive role for the future library. It will not only serve as an information resource, but much more, with the exact mission and goals evolving and changing over time.
A culture-based library is one that taps into the spirit of the community, assessing priorities and providing resources to support the things deemed most important.
The DaVinci Institute's The Future of Libraries


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