As the news spreads about Google’s plans to help digitize the collections of UM, Harvard, Oxford and Stanford, many are frantically reminding us of the importance of the library as physical place.  Does the Google project spell the end of the brick and morter library? Many seem to fear so, but I beg to differ.  According to the American Library Association, as information technology advances, visits to libraries only increase.  People often use these digitized resources to conduct research and access things that would otherwise be unavailable to them.  Further, most people still prefer to read something tangible that they can hold in front of them rather than curling up with their computer screen.  The fear that the library is going to disappear reminds me of the myth of the paperless offices that so many believed as computers took over.  Not only are we still using paper, we’re using more than ever!

NPR had a brief interview with the president of the American Library Association and she talked about many of these issues:

The Future of Libraries in the Digital Age