5.0319 Rs: On Libraries (2/106)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Mon, 16 Sep 1991 19:42:19 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 5, No. 0319. Monday, 16 Sep 1991.
Responses: On the Library of the Future

(1) Date: Thu, 12 Sep 1991 14:20:45 EDT (27 lines)
From: tleonhardt@MADVAX.UOP.EDU
Subject: RE: 5.0316 Qs: Libraries

(2) Date: Fri, 13 Sep 91 12:22:54 MST (79 lines)
From: Dan Lester <ALILESTE@idbsu.idbsu.edu>
Subject: Re: 5.0316 Qs: Libraries

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 1991 14:20:45 EDT
From: tleonhardt@MADVAX.UOP.EDU
Subject: RE: 5.0316 Qs: Libraries

Concerning libraries of the future I would like to draw to your attention
the upcoming (that is, the December 1991) issue of INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
AND LIBRARIES. As a special section we will publish three talks given at
the June 1991 OCLC Users Council. Ken Dowlin, Library Director of the San
Francisco Public Library talks about public libraries in 2001. In fact,
much of what he foresees is to be part of the new library he is building
for the city of San Francisco.

Joseph J. Branin, Associate University Librarian for Public Services
at the University of Minnesota Libraries talks about "Delivering on
Promises: The Intersection of Print and Electronic Information Systems in
Libraries." This paper gets to the heart of the question posed on HUMANIST.

Finally, Ann J. Wolpert, Cambridge Information Center, Arthur D. Little,
Inc. addresses "Libraries in the Year 2001" from the prospective of the
special librarian offering library services to the professional and
managerial business community. We in higher education could profit by
heeding some of the things she has to say about our final products, the
college graduate.

Tom Leonhardt
Editor, Information Technology and Libraries
INTERNET: tleonhardt@madvax.uop.edu
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------90----
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 91 12:22:54 MST
From: Dan Lester <ALILESTE@idbsu.idbsu.edu>
Subject: Re: 5.0316 Qs: Programs; Hardware; Libraries; People

On Thu, 12 Sep 1991 14:04:38 EDT you said:

>(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
>Date: Tue, 10 Sep 91 12:44:27 EDT
>From: lenoblem@ERE.UMontreal.CA (Lenoble Michel)
>Subject: Libraries of the future.
> I sent a message last week on HUMANIST concerning the
>libraries of the future. My main interest in this matter is to
>get an idea of the extend to wich new libraries will be
>computerized: will it be only computerized bibliographical
>reference searches or fully automated reference room and loan
>services? Which librairies plan to go as far as using only
>full-text retrieval systems (also called on-line exploitation of
>e-texts and e-books) instead of paper books?
Well, since I am giving a talk about this at a conference in a couple
of weeks, I will make a few brief comments here.

Libraries will continue to develop online catalogs of their holdings.
Within a decade all academic libraries will have online catalogs, and
most major public libraries will as well. So will many public school
libraries. Some of the largest libraries will not yet have had the
funds or time to convert all of their retrospective records, so there
will still be a card catalog for the oldest and least used works. I think
these records will all be converted in the next 25 years.

All future, and all present, indexing services will be automated and
searchable on mainframe/micro/cdrom forms. Many of them will continue
to be published in paper for the next couple of decades, although
this will decrease over time.

Within ten years essentially all libraries will have automated systems
to check books in and out, handle interlibrary loans, and related
administrative matters.

Networking of library catalogs and related databases will continue to
expand. I imagine you are aware that you can already search several
hundred library catalogs on the internet.

I do not expect that libraries will become strictly electronic in our
lifetimes (even if we are only 21 years old). This is because of the
millions of paper texts extant which it will not be economically feasible
to convert to electronic format. Also, until "laptops" become even smaller
and disk, cdrom, and "sugar cube" storage cheaper and denser than they
are now, we will not have a reading device that is comfortable and
"cuddly" like a book is. But these things will happen. By the middle of
the next century it is likely that few books will be published. No, I
don't know what the devices will be like, but at least half a dozen
generations of "new things" beyond cdrom and laptops will have come and
gone, like it or not.

The problems to librarians and archivists, however, will be even greater
than they are now. Not only will we have to deal with decaying paper
and 78 rpm phono records, but also decaying cdroms, hardware to play them
for which we can't get parts, etc., but also those added generations
of storage devices and equipment. And all of this will be compounded
by the exponential increase in "publication" in present and future forms.

I don't mean this to sound dismal. I personally find it exciting and
challenging, if scary at times.

I welcome further discussion of these issues, either through this forum
or off of the list.


* Dan Lester Bitnet: alileste@idbsu
* Associate University Librarian Internet: alileste@idbsu.idbsu.edu
* Boise State University
* Boise, Idaho 83725 You can be sure these ideas are my
* 208-385-1234 own; no one else would have them.