I received a phone call yesterday from a reporter who wanted to know the value of libraries now that "everything" is online. I spent a few minutes with her on the phone and she got excited when I outlined the role for libraries today. What I said, as well as information from others was published in USA Today.
Michael Dowling, director of ALA’s International Relations Office, is quoted as saying, "There's this idea that with everything available online, there's no reason to continue building libraries. But libraries do so much. They are lifelong learning centers. This is an opportunity for us to reach out." I noted that the challenge "is adapting to the ways people want to access resources." Although she called me because I'm a digitization consultant, I never mentioned digitization in my responses to her questions. Instead I talked about meeting the needs of every generation as well as those who do not have access to technology (e.g., broadband Internet). I did not want her to get sidetracked into a narrow focus for libraries. I wanted her to understand the bigger picture; the bigger role.
You can read the entire article here, which include information on what librarians did at the American Library Association Annual Conference besides going to sessions, eating and sightseeing. You might be pleasantly surprised!
Technorati tags: ALA,American Library Association