Shakings, tremblings and musings…

What is the role of the physical library in years to come? Will
newer and BIGGER public libraries continue to live on? What about places like
New Zealand and Japan, where earthquakes have caused substantial damages to
buildings, lives and just all around (don’t think the library in Christchurch
was affected) but even so. What with this technological age of social-phobes?
There’re your online gamers and virtual worlds where people meet up for
‘coffee’, ‘lunch’ and ‘dates’?! For me, that is weird as anything! When I eat
or drink, I WANT to TRULY eat and drink, not do it virtually, although that may
not be a bad slimming slogan – Eat virtually – where no fat enters your body!

Then, we have the social networks – no one really needs to
talk to anybody anymore. It’s all done through tweeting or facebooking – or
your preferred medium of online networking. Even business networking sites like
LinkedIn has spread its web. The internet is an amazing discovery – which leads
us back to the world of libraries. With the e-world and all things ‘i-something’
or ‘kindle-esque’, and as more and more people turn towards getting their books,
music, video, etc in an e-format, will it truly be necessary for us to step
into a library (academic libraries aside – I mean, did you see the Yonsei
Samsung Library???)

Do we envision the Jetsons age where cars fly over us and
everything is suspended in the air because of its vast superiority in technology
to defy gravity? Will we evolve to an online only library where all resources
are shared electronically through digital rights management for the greater
good of consumers? Will this be a global library without boundaries but
electronic checks and balances? I’m up for that – although deep at heart, I
still like a good physical book in hand, and don’t mind walking into a library
to pick up books or DVDs. I guess this is like the dying breed of bookstores (like
the demise of a certain major bookstore here recently which shalt not be named)
as more people turn to buying their books from online book gurus like the Book
Depository? Hey! Free postage! Why not?! Hmm…

SO……what do YOU think? Will your local physical library still be around in 50 years’ time?

About Elysia

...happily testing away somewhere in Melbourne...
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