The future of libraries – Why Seth Godin and Bobbi Newman are both right

I really  like when libraries escape the echo-chamber big time like with Seth Godins post about what libraries should be be in the future and the importance of librarians. I also like Godins post a lot and I agree with him on what should be our focus in the future.

I am glad that not all librarians agree with everything Seth Godin said in his post, because we need the debate to be even sharper on the future of libraries – because we are the ones deciding that future. We as library professionals.

I don´t think Bobbi Newman is wrong when she advocates for access to (e)books and online databases for those who cannot afford to buy access themselves. It´s not “defending library as warehouse as opposed to fighting for the future”
Actually I think it is exactly what Seth Godin advocates for when he says the mission is to “take the world of data, combine it with the people in this community and create value. ” –  for all people – those who can afford to buy it themselves and those who cannot. That is still the base of democracy and libraries have a role to play here.

The goal is connecting people with information and helping them navigate it.  Connecting people to other people in their communities and experts worldwide. Being a center of idea development, facilitate learning  and knowledge creation and being “librarian as producer, concierge, connector, teacher and impresario” - One of the means is providing access to  information until everything is free.

Some good posts (among many) about Godin´s “The future of the library”
Bobbi Newman “Seth Godin Misses the Point on Libraries, Again”
Buffy J. Hamilton: “Are Librarians, Not Seth Godin, The Ones Missing the Point on Libraries?” 
Andy Woodworth: “Bring Me the Head of Seth Godin!”
P.C Sweeny: “Seth Called Us Out On Our Bullshit And Folks Got Mad”

2 thoughts on “The future of libraries – Why Seth Godin and Bobbi Newman are both right”

  1. Library professionals may be interested in the scenarios we created in Australia in 2009 with the public library network entitled ‘The Bookends Scenarios’. The full scenario book can be found at http://www.futureshouse.com/downloads/bookend.pdf
    One of the broad findings of the research is that the future of the public library is not the same as the future of the book. And it is for this reason that the future of the library professional is not the same as the future of librarianship. The driver as Seth Godin notes is the value proposition being made by libraries in meeting and shaping the demand for content.

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