There was one thing that all the speakers agreed upon at the debate – even if libraries are obsolete, librarians aren’t. Rather than dividing our time and effort on compensating for an inadequate educational system, or inequalities in the market place, we should free up our brilliant librarians to work within these organizations to make the institutions better. Why take amazing information professionals and saddle them with leaky roofs, security at the door, and maintaining physical artifacts in often duplicative collections just waiting to be digitized? We see this at the Cushing Academy, a boarding school in Massachusetts that made the press when they significantly downsized the physical collection of the library. They did so at the same time they hired more librarians. Close the library and hire more librarians.
R. David Lankes weighs in on the “Libraries Are Obsolete” debate hosted at Harvard (via thelifeguardlibrarian)