TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

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.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Sep 14 2011: I agree with Debra that libraries are much more than books or e-books. They provide a large array of services. In my area, the large academic library has labtops, iPads, cameras, and bikes to loan out. They have journals in print and online from around the world. During finals, they have programs to help students destress. However, in order to meet all of these demands, it takes more money each year. And from what I've seen, towns and institutions are giving less to libraries. Take Oregon or Boston where branches have been closed.
    • thumb
      Sep 15 2011: Well, the academic library in your area is fantastic, I must say! Unfortunately they are not the same everywhere else, especially if they are public libraries (at least in Argentina).

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.