Thursday, 13 January 2011
Please try to take a moment before you gasp in horror at my suggestion. Maybe it looks reactionary, anti-intellectual, even an act of cultural vandalism. But when did you last actually go to one of the public 'knowledge centres' formerly known as libraries? And what do you expect to find there?
That's not a trick question. Museums, Libraries and Archives' research, available as a rather plush .pdf here, acknowledges that most people expect and indeed want to find books there. And indeed they will: although perhaps fewer than before, because libraries have also conceded to users' demands for more computers and, highly recommended by the MLA, coffee shops. After all, you'd probably have to walk, oh, minutes from your library to find the nearest Costabucks.