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Bibliotech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google

John Palfrey

"Libraries today are more important than ever. More than just book repositories, libraries can become bulwarks against some of the most crucial challenges of our age: unequal access to education, jobs, and information. In BiblioTech, educator and technology expert John Palfrey argues that anyone seeking to participate in the 21st century needs to understand how to find and use the vast stores of information available online. And libraries, which play a crucial role in making these skills and information available, are at risk. In order to survive our rapidly modernizing world and dwindling government funding, libraries must make the transition to a digital future as soon as possible-by digitizing print material and ensuring that born-digital material is publicly available online. Not all of these changes will be easy for libraries to implement. But as Palfrey boldly argues, these modifications are vital if we hope to save libraries and, through them, the American democratic ideal. "--

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Book Information

Publisher: Not available
Publish Date: 05/05/2015
Pages: 288
ISBN-13: 9780465042999
ISBN-10: 0465042996
Language: English

Full Description

"We live in a world of complex and seemingly infinite information. The ways in which people of all ages use and obtain that information has changed drastically in recent years: e-book readership has increased, Wikipedia has largely supplanted encyclopedias and reference books, and many people now consume news and media through their smartphones, tablets, and laptops. With digital culture ascendant, it seems counterintuitive to argue that libraries, of all things, are more important than ever. But that is exactly what library expert John Palfrey does in BiblioTech, a stirring call to arms that explains how libraries can become bulwarks against the creeping problems of our times: unequal access to education, jobs, and information. Yet the fate of the local library is by no means secure; these institutions are struggling to adapt to our rapidly modernizing world, and often rely on dwindling funding from state and local governments to do so. In order to survive, libraries will need to dramatically shift their focus from maintaining and building up their collections to serving their communities. Print and analog formats will never disappear, Palfrey assures us, but libraries must make the transition to a digital future as soon as possible--by digitizing print material, ensuring that born-digital material (from data sets to blog posts to sound recordings) is accessible to researchers, and making all of this digital information publicly available online. Not all of these changes will be easy for libraries to implement and the process of digitizing collections and training librarians will be complicated and costly. But as Palfrey boldly argues, these modifications are vital if we hope to save libraries and, through them, the American democratic ideal"--

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