Friday, March 25, 2005

How long will our libraries last?

At a presentation last night about water, I was reminded that we tend to be short-sighted in how long something is suppose to last. Some culture think very long term (e.g., seven generations), while others think about the next year or so. Many organizations have a hard time thinking 5 - 10 years into the future, yet they must do so in order to put the right processes in place for survival. One group that is trying to move us all to think more long-term is the Long Now Foundation founded by Stewart Brand.

So today I have simple questions for us to think on. How long will our digital libraries survive? Have they been built to last for ten years? Are there plans in place to have them last and grow for 40 years? And if a generation is 17 - 20 years, how long will our brick and mortar libraries last and be effective?

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