Rule 5. The library is a growing organism
Again, this is another rule that applies first and foremost to libraries in and of themselves. As a librarian, let me first shed some insight on this. The library is a growing, evolving, changing organization. We adapt to technology, to the times, to community needs. We do have parameters for this evolvement. Libraries have mission statements and strategic plans. They have core tenets and beliefs. I doubt that the library will ever evolve into something completely unrecognizable. As long as there is information that needs to be housed, organized, and made accessible, so will libraries, as an organization, need to exist.
That’s the thing, however, the forms of information does change. Information -- whether literature or factual -- is no longer just housed in the heads of scholars who have memorized. It’s not on stone tablets or on scrolls. We have it in codex books, but also through ebooks, audiobooks, and the internet. Periodicals are not saved as microfiche predominantly anymore. Newer periodicals are saved as scanned digital files.
Here are we full circle, back to my first post, about how books are made to be used. We need to be open and supportive of the way books change. I do love the form of a physical codex book, but I can acknowledge the wonders ebooks and audiobooks are doing for others. They can make books so much more accessible for some people.
We all get to choose what’s best for us. Which is one reason I can’t stand too much preaching about how awful ebooks are or how audiobooks are not real reading. No one is forcing you to use them, people! Again, I prefer physical books, but I do occasionally use ebooks and audiobooks, and they have their positive qualities.
Books don’t just change in physical form, but in content as well. The styles of writing, the trends, on who is pushing the genre forward in new and interesting directions. Literature is an artform. It should change and evolve, rather than be stagnant.
This is a good lesson (about libraries, about publishing, about books forms, about technology) that we shouldn’t cling so desperately to what things were and what we’re comfortable with. Things change, technology change, the way information and literature is transferred to the reader changes, but what has staying power the profound power of books, of art, of story.
Insights from the life of an aspiring, struggling writer; a passionate reader, and a working librarian.
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies