We need librarians more than we ever did

The next library is a house for the librarian with the guts to invite kids in to teach them how to get better grades while doing less grunt work. And to teach them how to use a soldering iron or take apart something with no user servicable parts inside. And even to challenge them to teach classes on their passions, merely because it's fun. This librarian takes responsibility/blame for any kid who manages to graduate from school without being a first-rate data shark.

The next library is filled with so many web terminals there's always at least one empty. And the people who run this library don't view the combination of access to data and connections to peers as a sidelight--it's the entire point.

Wouldn't you want to live and work and pay taxes in a town that had a library like that? The vibe of the best Brooklyn coffee shop combined with a passionate raconteur of information? There are one thousands things that could be done in a place like this, all built around one mission: take the world of data, combine it with the people in this community and create value.

We need librarians more than we ever did. What we don't need are mere clerks who guard dead paper. Librarians are too important to be a dwindling voice in our culture. For the right librarian, this is the chance of a lifetime.

via Seth's Blog: The future of the library.

I've got nothing to add to this. The only library I seem able to hang out in these days is the Princeton Public Library.


  1. What we need, then, is someone to teach our young how to look for, and find, answers -- including answers that have been deliberately obscured or hidden. What we need our librarians to teach, then, is independence -- something our kidnapperphobic, terrorphobic, suburban-sprawl world has deprived them of. The biggest issue here is that our governments fear independent thought and strive to rip  both the means and the concepts from us faster than we can distribute them.

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