Future Libraries (Representations Books)

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9780520088115: Future Libraries (Representations Books)

As the digital revolution sweeps us toward the twenty-first century, what issues, passions, and anxieties are evoked when we consider the place of the library in the future? Humanists and social scientists are only beginning to recognize that the current revolution in the dissemination of knowledge is comparable to the one that followed the advent of printing, when huge numbers of books first became available. On the eve of the opening of the Bibliothèque de France, which has become a lightning rod for the issues raised by the electronic revolution, this collection brings together distinguished lawyers, historians, librarians, computer scientists, linguists, and architects to assess the future of libraries, books, and the printed word. The contributors represent a wide range of institutions: the Bibliothèque de France, the Library of Congress, law schools, architectural firms, universities.

We are still exploring the ramifications of revolutionary techniques for writing and reading; new modes of storing and distributing data; new possibilities for acquiring, reconfiguring, and integrating knowledge. Future Libraries does much to stimulate and inform the debate on a revolution that will affect our most diverse cultural forms and our deepest social structures.

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About the Author:

R. Howard Bloch is Professor of French at Columbia University and author of Medieval Misogyny and the Invention of Western Romantic Love (1992). Carla Hesse is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of Publishing and Cultural Politics in Revolutionary Paris, 1789-1810 (California, 1991).

From Library Journal:

"What we are witnessing in the remaking of the library at the end of the twentieth century is not so much a technological revolution (which has already occurred) but the public reinvention of intellectual community in its wake," remark the editors in their introduction to this collection of ten essays. Indeed, these essays, written by librarians, historians, computer scientists, lawyers, linguists, and architects, open a wide perspective on the implications for libraries and their users of new ways of encountering knowledge and information. This perspective does not ignore the past: Roger Chartier, for example, contributes a compendium of Renaissance bibliographies. Much attention is given to the new Bibliotheque Nationale de France, one essay focuses on the new San Francisco Public Library, and another on the resurgence of Eastern European libraries. Perhaps most fascinating is Anthony Vidler's analysis of the aesthetic and ideological significance of the architectural design of the new French national library. All but one of the essays?Robert Berring's account of the changing work of librarians?originally appeared in a special issue of the journal Representations (Spring 1993, No. 42). Librarians, scholars, and informed readers will appreciate the provocative discussions included here.?Dean C. Rowan, Whittier P.L., Cal
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Published by University of California Press (1995)
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R. Howard Bloch (Editor), Carla Hesse (Editor)
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