Friday, April 30, 2004

More library stuff.

I read an article today about a possible future of British libraries, which was interesting mostly because a consultant predicted that they would die out in 15 years. I, myself, use public libraries less that I used to. This is down to the fact that when I'm researching an essay for whatever course I'm doing, it's always so much easier to look for it on-line. You can get really good material in on-line databases; I do rely on a library to give me access to those, but physically entering the library building for a book seems to me to be more appropriate when looking for entertainment reading.

When I read a novel, I want to relax and take the time to read it properly. When I'm researching, I just want to find stuff which I can read quickly - and I want to be able to find it easily.

So perhaps the future of libraries really is one without walls. Maybe librarians will be like Database Administrators but with more interesting databases. But first we'll have to get more a reliable communications framework. At the library where I work, a large number of databases have recently become available to library members. However, almost every time I go to show a patron our new whizz-bang electronic information sources, there's some problem with the server or something. It's a little embarrassing.

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