So, do I really think public libraries are doomed? No, not really. “Doomed” is too strong a word for it. Or to be more precise, if libraries don’t change with the changing times, I think they’re doomed, but I have every reason to believe they will change. But as both a library employee and a library patron, I don’t think my local libraries are changing fast enough. Hey, I fully admit that I’m an impatient so-and-so.
That being said, I do think that libraries need to fully realize and admit that there are services that compete with ours and that some services do what we do and they do them better. Obviously, I think public libraries are really, really important, offering all kinds of important social services. I’ve said as much on this blog, many times, and I wouldn’t be a librarian if I didn’t feel it in my bones. And no, I don’t think technological toys are the be-all and end-all of library progress. But information-communication technologies are changing the ways people connect to and interact with information and other people, and libraries have to deal with this change.
This all is a rambling preamble to me pointing to this David Rothman post and saying, “What he said.”