… actually the future is not so far off. I really don’t like talks about libraries of The Future (note the capital letters). It’s as if The Future is some far-off land where librarians who are young, hip and in the know can go if they are really, really good but older librarians will never see this nirvana.

A bit dramatic maybe, but I saw the video below on lostmoya‘s blog  Burned at Both End. It’s JISC‘s video on what the library of the future will look like.

The whole issue of The Future will be the land of plenty – plenty of digital technology is a continuing debate here in South Africa as well – but I agree with the student in 3:44. Globally libraries are very much a hybrid system and we still use paper-based resources and we’re doing a-ok. Bandwidth (while plentiful in the West) is a serious hindrance of libraries in developing countries and before this is sorted out going completely digital with our academic libraries is truly the stuff myths are made of.

I find the student’s perception of the library and librarians to be quite accurate – sad, but accurate – as they believe librarians will disappear bec “I can check out my own books” and “find stuff on Google” as if issuing material is what librarians do and Google is the #1 reliable source of information!

But I like this quote:

Google doesn’t create information, doesn’t catalogue or classify information, doesn’t store information. It’s only a gateway. Information is provided by other people.

Yup, the Library of The Future will be one with PEOPLE, people!

So while lostmoya‘s always imagined librarians of The Future to look like this:


(from here)

I think librarians will look like this:

library future

(the images are from MSOffice and represents a certain blah-ness of images available!)