The new central library
of Birmingham (England), the largest public building of its type in Europe, is officially opened tomorrow by Malala Yousafzai
. Reviews, pre-opening, have been largely positive [Independent
] [Financial Times
]. [more inside]
The American Library Association fires the latest response
in its tussle
with publishers over e-books in public libraries, while in England, a government review of e-books in public libraries
Can Dumbing Down Save Our Libraries?
An intersting story from The Sunday Herald
that says libraries are facing a stark choice: modernize or die.
The author say we just can't win, if we put in a bank of computers
we are accused of dumbing things down, if we demand silence
in the reading rooms and purchase books that aren't "popular" we find ourselves charged with elitism
He says the public library has an altruistic purpose of making knowledge freely available through the printed word. The trouble is that those high principles
were undermined by the librarians
themselves. Facing a revolution in communications, they tried to become all things to all people
He focuses on England, but I think many of these issues are international. Are public libraries out of date?