Librarians and libraries are threatened with extinction. This according to a New York Times article, (link here). Certain libraries because they lack space and budget, must make decisions as to what books remain on the shelves. If it hasn’t been checked out in two years– out it goes. This is producing unfortunate results for titles like Jane Eyre and Dr. Faustus.
We think the reinvention of libraries is a CIQ phenomenon. We see a big opportunity for libraries to re-invent themselves online. Yes, everyone is sad at the idea of the old-fashioned library or librarian going away. I live in New York City. And I miss elevator men. But these days, there isn’t a lever and a special series of buttons to push inside an intimidating mechanical box. You can press your own button. Just like you can use Google. But at least once a month I find myself in need of research help. And Amazon’s book recommender technology is not all it was cracked up to be. What with books I buy as gifts and a couple I’ve tried on bad recommendations, I’ve ended up in some weird category where Amazon seems to think I’m a 12-year-old girl oddly interested in both financial publications and alternative medicine.
I remember back to being an actual 12-year-old with a librarian who helped me find the right books for my history project and who also said, “Did you enjoy that last book? Maybe you’d like this one.” We could use some of that online. Google may be out to chronicle all human knowlege, but we could still use Marian the Librarian to help us make sense of it.