Months ago, I would have told you there is no way books will become paperless. The GUI of a book lets you read it at the beach in bright sun, on the subway squished between passengers, even in a tent by candlelight. And the Kindle? No way I could see myself reading The Old Curiosity Shop by the fireplace on a digital reader. But today, I’m pretty sure I was wrong. Newspapers, magazines and, yes, even paper books will be greatly reduced in our lifetimes. Asmore and more people get used to reading on mobile phones, and other portable digital devices it’s only a matter of time before me evolve from nonrenewable paper-based media.
So what does that hold for libraries? Libraries are for research and free books. Today, by the time you drive or ride to the library, you have in one Wikipedia page access to hundreds of linked sources. Across the country taxpayers are voting down library budgets every day, especially so in today’s economy. Libraries need to get ahead of this trend and reinvent themselves. Any thoughts?