“What and why libraries?”: looking at what libraries might look like and why we still need them now and into the future

  • Berndtson M
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Purpose: Public libraries are threatened. At least it can feel so when one reads about the reduced budgets and the decreasing use of libraries. When one looks at the changing nature of the information world, it can be seen that more and more information is available on the net and people can download music, films and even books. The purpose of this paper is not to concentrate on the threats posed to libraries, but instead try to see the possibilities. Design/methodology/approach: With some new library models, which the author sees as progressive, some general conclusions are sought for the future of libraries. Findings: The author's conclusions and recommendations include: looking at peoples' lives not at internal services; be customer-oriented instead of being system-oriented; realize that the focus of library service is moving from transactions to relations; emphasize that libraries are social places and living organisms; and realize that we are facing a paradigm shift which confuses both our staff and our users. Originality/value: If librarians are able to rethink, remodel and renew the libraries, the libraries can be heading for The Golden Age in their history. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

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  • Maija Berndtson

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