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What is the future of libraries?

Libraries withdraw (either throw out, resale, or recycle) print materials all the time. Many libraries say that these print materials are being replaced by resources on the web or non print resources. But with the rising costs of subscriptions, licensing, legal issues involved with copyright, privacy and what not, how can libraries provide access to all of these types of materials? Are libraries throwing out some of our heritage when withdrawing print materials? Where are libraries heading and how can they navigate the waters of freedom of expression in a digital age, security, public access, or free services.


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  • Sep 14 2011: Definitely an interesting topic. In the city where I live (Toronto), there have been discussions on funding cuts to libraries in past months.

    I think for the public library system to stay alive, they need to focus on their strength of in-person interactions, and also get on board heavily with the digital world (ie. allowing you to "take out" ebooks, and provide other free subscription-based services).

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