[iDC] Is there a future for the pubklic

mark cooley flawedart at yahoo.com
Sun Jul 3 12:48:07 UTC 2011

The description of a public library as a internet cafe of sorts is totally depressing. Perhaps this would work if the internet wasn't actually, well... "the internet". As it is now, the web is more like television than a book. I am continually astounded at what I CANNOT actually find on the web (at least without paying somebody). Last time this happened I walked down to the tiny library in my town and found multiple books on the subject I was researching. There is not anywhere near the depth of information on the web as there is in books - even in a small library. Also, I've never opened a book and had a hundred annoying advertisements jump out at me!



> Hi Anya,
> I can recognize your description of public library
> functionalities as being free internet caf?es and
> afterschool gathering places for children also from Danish
> experiences, but - depending of course to a certain degree
> of the nature of the community - also as a democratic space
> for meetings, workshops, gatherings, gaming, learning and
> listening much of which is organized by civic society
> activists in the community. I look forward to read about the
> LearnerWeb in your e-book.
> Rolf
> Fra: Anya Kamenetz [mailto:anyaanya at gmail.com]
> Sendt: 1. juli 2011 18:24
> Til: Rolf Hapel
> Cc: Janet Hawtin; Jessica F. Lingel; idc at mailman.thing.net
> Emne: Re: [iDC] Is there a future for the pubklic
> libraries?
> The way I see libraries functioning most vibrantly in
> communities today, at a moment of transition, is as free
> Internet cafes for lower-income people and afterschool
> gathering places for children.
> In my new ebook The Edupunks' Guide (expected release in
> August) I talk about a really interesting program called
> LearnerWeb, which is a guided online personal learning plan
> experience for people whose goals include learning English,
> learning to read, or getting a GED. http://www.learnerweb.org/infosite/
> People generally interact with the LearnerWeb website in a
> semi-supervised situation like an adult literacy center,
> social services center, and yes, a library.
> Anya
> On Fri, Jul 1, 2011 at 3:19 AM, Rolf Hapel <hapel at aarhus.dk<mailto:hapel at aarhus.dk>>
> wrote:
> Hi Janet,
> Thank you for your comments. I agree that the change of
> format ultimately is changing the business models of
> publishing, thus has an enormous effect of the business
> model of the libraries. Copyright issues are at the core of
> this development. I believe that your reflection on the
> library as a future repository or space which can host
> culturally important data over longer time spans ending with
> a (big) question mark is very relevant! The need for
> preserving valuable cultural and polical data is obvious,
> but it is in my mind not a task for the public library to do
> that, it must be national repositories that harvest that
> kind of digital information. The possibility of having
> networks of libraries host contemporary digital media
> content (or maybe access to digital media content through
> metadata repositories) is certainly a possibility - that's
> what we are doing in Denmark.
> Rolf
> -----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
> Fra: Janet Hawtin [mailto:lucychili at gmail.com<mailto:lucychili at gmail.com>]
> Sendt: 30. juni 2011 12:50
> Til: Jessica F. Lingel
> Cc: Rolf Hapel
> Emne: Re: [iDC] Is there a future for the pubklic
> libraries?
> Hullo
> I am one of the new library sector students.
> My concern about the shift in paper owned resources to
> linked or subscribed digital resources is largely because it
> changes the kind of access rights users have because
> copyright is a shifting target.
> Format shift brings with it a shift from ownership of an
> object to tenancy with a hosting site.
> You also need to keep paying to keep accessing.
> Sometimes it also means that the library is less seen as a
> space which can host culturally important data over longer
> time spans? I think the refresh rate of government websites
> for example will mean it is difficult to compare changing
> government policies over some years as old data is deleted
> and replaced with the latest perspectives.
> Perhaps libraries can still host that kind of longer
> perspective?
> Perhaps libraries can hold self published zines, local
> content, local books.
> It would be interesting if networks of libraries became
> more authoritative and integrated as hosting organisations
> for digital media as content in other hosting sites may well
> only be there while it is profitable and not offer a longer
> term cultural asset.
> A comfy chair and a net connection are passive aspects of
> information delivery in that they are only able to deliver
> relevant information if the wider network has chosen to host
> the data and it is accessible from that network.
> My initial thoughts anyway =)
> Janet
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> --
> Fast Company column Life In Beta<http://www.fastcompany.com/user/anya-kamenetz>
> Tribune Media column The Savings Game<http://www.tmsfeatures.com/columns/business/personal-finance/savings-game/>
> Book DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs and the Coming
> Transformation of  Higher Education <http://www.amazon.com/DIY-Edupunks-Edupreneurs-Transformation-Education/dp/1603582347>
> Blog DIYUbook.com <http://diyubook.com/>
> Twitter @Anya1anya<http://twitter.com/#%21/anya1anya>
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