I have been really enjoying following #OpenBlog19 posts over the past week or more and if you haven’t come across it before now, start by reading David’s original post or browse the hashtag and discover the inspiring contributions to date.
When I went to the Google doc, one topic really jumped out at me and so in this post I’m going to write about what I’d like the library of the future to be like. I’ve spent today walking through libraries of the past, so this post is inspired by the material traces of our histories.
The library of the future is a physical place, with many entrances and floor and wings to explore. It houses collections of books and manuscripts, tablets, carvings, materials, things, artwork, cultural artefacts and many indices. The library of the future is for human beings and about human beings, our history, our knowledge, our ideas and dreams and hopes.
The library of the future is a place where you can find what you are looking for. A place in which to discover the unexpected. A refuge in which you can retreat from the world and find peace and quiet and contemplation. The library of the future is somewhere you can loose hours, days or whole years to following the red thread of inspiration.
The library of the future is free and open to all.
The library of the future is not dominated by digital data. The library of the future is not focused on making information useful. It does not require you to have a specific purpose or know what you are looking for. The library of the future rewards curiosity, accommodates procrastination and safeguards daydreaming.
The library of the future keeps growing and being added to. It’s bigger than it looks from the outside, expanding into the space that only librarians can safely guide us through.
The library of the future contains things we want to remember and things we try to forget. Recollections of wars won and loves lost. It contains everything ever published and posted, all the journals, newspapers, blogs, vlogs. sites and domains. The library of the future is our archive.
The library of the future is a place of debate, disagreement and dialogue. An institution of reflection and critical literacy. A way of distributing knowledge and the power that comes with that. The library of the future will have a branch near you.
The library of the future is a common good and owned by all.
The library of the future is recruiting… apply now. There are many vacancies.