Magical Devices – musings from a 1907 librarian
100 years ago, a librarian was wondering about the technological advances of the time and the future of libraries:
“There are many examples of tools that are currently available which might have great impact on library work. Typewriters, of course, can make many tasks less burdensome […] The telephone seems likely to make its way into libraries as it will into offices and homes…”
“Will we have ways to see and hear and experience the lives and ideas of others, across the land and over the seas? Will we have a way for people to quickly find exactly what they want in a vast sea of information of all types? Such devices would appear to be magical; but if so, they would allow us to be in greater communication and concord with peoples around the world.”
It is interesting to read this in 2007 and measure how far libraries have come. While it is debatable that these advances have brought “greater communication and concord” between people, new collaborative tools, technologies and user expectations are once again placing libraries “on the cusp of so much change”.
Read the whole column here.