Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Future of Libraries ...

... is sounding interesting. This is quite a fascinating time to be in the profession.

I really like the idea of the library as kitchen rather than grocery store. In the early 20th century, John Cotton Dana envisioned the library as an industrial place. People were supposed to get in and out, fast, with maximum efficiency. A counter-idea to the workshop/factory library was the welcoming living room, where female librarians nourished proper habits. Early works on library design show some fascinating underlying assumptions.

I like the idea of it being a welcoming kitchen where you can do some cooking, have a chat around the kitchen table, and where everyone's comfortable. But most of all, where you get to cook your own, not be served a meal that someone else decided was nourishing nor to be efficiently served by a machine.

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