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« Guest post by Gary Hartzell: Naming our profession | Main | Mumbai colors »
Tuesday
Mar022010

Yesterday's libraries, tomorrow's libraries - 12 differences

I am working on a short recorded presentation for a school on "future" libraries. I am thinking this may be the format. Join in...

1. Yesterday's libraries were all about books.
    Tomorrow's libraries will be all about readers.

2. Yesterday's libraries were all about getting information.
    Tomorrow's libraries will be all about creating and sharing information.

3. Yesterday's libraries were all about silent individuals.
    Tomorrow's libraries will be all about active groups.

4. Yesterday's libraries were all about term papers.
    Tomorrow's libraries will be all about multimedia projects.

5. Yesterday's libraries were all about bricks and mortar, tables and shelves.
    Tomorrow's libraries will be all about online services, digital resources.

6. Yesterday's libraries were all about teaching how to find information.
    Tomorrow's libraries will be all about teaching how to evaluate and use information .

7. Yesterday's libraries were all about having program goals.
    Tomorrow's libraries will be all about helping students, teachers and schools meet their goals.

8. Yesterday's libraries were all about being directed by a professional librarian.
    Tomorrow's libraries will be all about developing whole-school ownership.

9. Yesterday's libraries were all about organizing information by a set of rules.
    Tomorrow's libraries will be all about helping users organize information in ways that make sense to them.

10. Yesterday's libraries were all about being copyright enforcers.
     Tomorrow's libraries will be all about being intellectual property counselors.

11. Yesterday's libraries were all about order, rules and policies.
      Tomorrow's libraries will be all about comfort, service and meeting individual needs.

12. Yesterday's libraries were all about developing print literacy.
     Tomorrow's libraries will be all about developing multiple literacies - print, auditory, visual.

This means today's libraries are all about..

  • Transition
  • Exploration
  • Planning
  • Survival
  • Optimism
  • Opportunities

Or they'd better be if there are to be libraries tomorrow.

Oh, the picture is of a proposed library design. Really, really. See, all digital libraries don't look so bad after seeing that thing!

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Reader Comments (23)

Dear Doug,
Wow, what a beautifully portrayed vision of our future libraries.
Thank you for sharing.

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDeanna Reilly

Super, libraryiscous!

While I'm still thinking about adding a couplet or two to your collection, I'm wondering if you might ask something like this at the end:

Is yesterday's library your library today?

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBob Follmuth

Could you replace the word "school" for library in all twelve?

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrandt Schneider

LOVE IT!! You may have just given me the format for my SCASL2010 presentation. I have the ideas in my head, but needed a unique approach. I hope you dont mind if i use it--giving you proper credit of course.

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCathy Nelson

"9. Yesterday' libraries were all about organizing information by a set of rules.
Tomorrow's libraries will be all about helping users organize information in ways that make sense to them."

That's the big one, for me! The idea of us being more Sherpa than Enforcer...

You do a-whole-nother one of these about yesterday's/tomorrow's librarians, too. In fact I think I will!

March 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterthewikiman

Hope it isn't crass to link to this here, but I created a response to this post: http://thewikiman.org/blog/?p=502

March 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterthewikiman

Do they have to all be either/or? Cannot most be both/and?

Great list , Doug.

We need another list to go with it:

Yesterday's librarians were all about collecting the resources
Tomorrow's librarians are all about sharing the resources.

Yesterday's librarians were all about working hard
Tomorrow's librarians are all about working smart.

Yesterday's librarians were all about being yourself
Tomorrow's librarians are all about being part of the team

Thanks for starting these thoughts!

March 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim Staal

Great posting! You have managed to capture the fundamental changes which must occur and presented them in a palatable format which HOPEFULLY will persuade those most resistant to change that in order to survive, we as a profession must not only adapt and embrace the change but must lead the way...

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLiz Hood

Absolutely!! heading in the right direction.

Libraries have a future with this recipe for success!

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAudrey Nay

Thankyou for sharing such a beautiful thoughts!

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIliana

Thought provoking and a discussion starter. Thanks!

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJudy Serritella

Love it!
I have copied it and am going to create something wonderful to display it in the library .... for all to see ....

What about
"yesterday's libraries were about pulling clients to information'
Tomorrow's libraries are about pushing information to the clients!"

I am sure you can come up with something a little more poetic!

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDianne McKenzie

They are all right on, but number 6 is my favorite. Keep spreading the word! Too many administrators are still old school even though they talk 21st Century.

March 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbberg

Hi Deanna,

You are welcome. Thanks for the comment,

Doug

Bob,

Love your closing line. I am definitely stealing it!

Thanks,

Doug

Hi Brandt,

Very perceptive. School or classroom for sure.

Doug

Hi Cathy Jo,

Use what you can and improve it!

Doug

Hi Ned,

I am stealing your idea of doing this as a Prezi! Thanks

Thanks,

Doug

Hi Babbette,

I am sure this will not be a total dichotomy. More poetic license in pointing out the differences for now.

Doug

Hi Tim,

Good additions / riff. Love the part about working smarter. Wish it were easy to figure that out!

Doug

Hi Liz,

Not sure that anything this simple will persuade the most resistant, but I guess it can't hurt.

Thanks for the comment,

Doug

Thanks for the comment, Audrey,

Cheers!

Doug

Thanks, Dianne. Use the list and improve it!

Doug

March 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Johnson

Wow! You pretty much covered it all for me. I just received my MLS this past summer and am working on getting my K12 teaching license. I will be looking for a job for the fall and have been thinking quite a bit about this very thing. I cannot wait to get into a school and become a working part of all of this!

Thanks!

March 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer Scypinski

Hi Jennifer,

Good luck with your new career. It's a great job for the right people.

All the best and thanks for leaving the comment,

Doug

March 8, 2010 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

How about "Yesterday's Libraries were all about the word "No", Today's Libraries are all about the word "Yes".
and in the case of my library
"Yesterday's library was all about "sit in your seat", Today's library is all about "sure you can sprawl on the floor with the laptop".

March 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGuusje Moore

Thanks, Guusje. I like you additions. I hope all librarians will formulate their own list like this!

Doug

March 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Johnson

Hi Doug,
Tell me this...do you think that advanced technology has had more of a positive or negative affect on librarians? The role of librarians seem to have changed drastically over the past decade.

Student

March 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStudent

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