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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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    Oct 5 2011: It is clear that ebooks and the latest technology have completely overturned the book market. Some writers already offer their own books through the Web, usually for a charge. But the Internet is more than a showcase. The Web is also a place of exchange, a channel through which the dialogue between the author and his readers can take place without intermediaries. So we will see more and more new reader groups and communities with the same interest. The members of these networks will develop interactions, not only with the writer, but also with the other members of these virtual communities. This development probably means the disappearance of the traditional literature market, although there will always be a place for the promotion and publication market. Authors and publishers will therefore have to adapt their relations to this development. It is obvious that publishers will also use virtual tools as a communication means and adapt to the new technologies in a creative and commercial manner.

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