The Book, the Medium and the Library.
February 20, 2014 7:27 AM   Subscribe

Medium has made available the first book-length content (perhaps) on its writing platform. Demanding Better Libraries For Today’s Complex World by R. David Lankes is cited as a 164 minute read. For works of this length, Medium offer a feature for bookmarking where you have read to.

From the Introduction:

"This book is not about expecting more from public libraries or from school libraries, but from all libraries. School libraries have a lot to teach all good libraries about issues of assessment and learning. Public libraries have a lot to share about working with a wide range of demographics. Academic libraries understand the power of knowledge creation. Corporate libraries, and the ever-present bottom line, can teach us all about measuring impact."
posted by Wordshore (3 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Yes, that is the same department. Working tables, natural light—a space more for people and learning than for books. When did we start thinking of libraries as book havens?

The Free Library of Philadelphia, like many public libraries in 1927, had closed stacks - patrons had to find a book in the card catalog, fill out a request slip, and the wait for library staff to retrieve it. Other than reference materials, books were not stored in the reading rooms.

Open stacks for browsing, in the process of becoming the norm at that time, were revolutionary - patrons were given direct access to the books that they wanted, and could browse without intermediaries.

Lankes either doesn't know his library history, or he is deliberately misrepresenting it to make his point.
posted by ryanshepard at 8:06 AM on February 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

This is right up my alley, but I have to say that I'm very unlikely to read it in this format — 164 pages scrolling down on my monitor or iPad sounds hellish. It's available on Amazon, so I may order it there. Thanks for pointing this out, though, this is definitely something I've been thinking a lot about lately.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 10:19 AM on February 20, 2014

I have used the Instapaper app to save this to my iPad to read later. It seems to have saved the entire book quite nicely, and I can then page through it at leisure rather than scroll it on-screen. God I love Instapaper.

If you're into this reading and want to dive further into Lankes' ideas, Lankes offered a MOOC based on his book The Atlas of New Librarianship, through the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University last July. The course is still available online.
posted by Quiplash at 3:16 PM on February 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

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