Library 2020: Today's Leading Visionaries Describe Tomorrow's Library

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9780810887145: Library 2020: Today's Leading Visionaries Describe Tomorrow's Library

Thinking about the future of libraries, librarianship and the work librarians do is as old as libraries themselves. (No doubt seminars were organized by the Alexandria Librarians Association on the future of the scroll and what to do about the rising barbarian tide.) At no time in our memory, though, have these discussions and conversations been so profound and critical.

Here one of today’s leading thinkers and speakers about the future of libraries brings together 30 leaders from all types of libraries and from outside librarianship to describe their vision of what the library will be in 2020. Contributors including Stephen Abram, Susan Hildreth, Marie Radford, Clifford Lynch, and Library Journal’s The Annoyed Librarian were asked to describe the “library of 2020,” in whatever terms they wanted, either a specific library or situation or libraries in general. They were told: “be bold, be inspirational, be hopeful, be true, be provocative, be realistic, be depressing, be light-hearted, be thoughtful, be fun...be yourself, and for heaven’s sake, don’t be boring.” Not that they could be.

Broadly representative of important perspectives and aspects within the profession as well as featuring important voices beyond the professional realm, Library 2020 presents thought-provoking and illuminating visions from many points of view. It is both required reading for library leaders and trustees as well as an ideal supplemental text for LIS classes looking at the future of the profession.

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About the Author:

Joseph Janes is Associate Professor and Chair of the MLIS Program at the University of Washington Information School. A frequent speaker in the US and abroad, he was the Founding Director of the Internet Public Library and the co-author of several books on librarianship, technology, and their relationship, including Introduction to Reference Work in the Digital Age. He has written a monthly column for American Libraries magazine since 2002. The American Library Association recognized him with the Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award for distinguished contributions to reference librarianship in 2006.

Review:

The essays described. . . are positive and hopeful. (Library Resources & Technical Services (LRTS))

Edited by associate professor and chair of the MLIS program at the University of Washington Information School, this work brings together 23 chapters answering the question 'The library in 2020 will be ....' Authored by 24 invited librarians, professors, and practitioners, and organized into 5 sections, the work discusses the future of libraries in terms of 'stuff,' people, community, place, and leadership and vision. Interestingly, while the materials come from various backgrounds and environments, they share similar messages. . . .The individual essays are poignant, ranging from personal ideas to well-researched and documented essays. For anyone considering the future of libraries and librarianship of any type, this book is a welcomed read, as ideas seen on blogs, at conferences, in professional readings all come together and can be shared in a way that one does not feel so isolated. Whether reading the thoughts of 'The Annoyed Librarian,' Marie Radford, Stephen Abram, Michael Crandall, or Daniel Chudnov, the reader will gain an understanding from the inside of what the future of the library may become. (American Reference Books Annual)

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