Well of course it doesn’t, but it is interesting:
In May, Sydney University announced its library “restructure”. This magnificent library, among the country’s finest, had already, a decade earlier, deacquisitioned some 60,000 books and theses. More recently there were further, unquantified and undeclared cloak-and-dagger dumpings to make space for the wifi and lounge-chairs that have given the once magical Fisher stack the look and feel of a church playgroup.
I’m posting this more as a thinking/discussion piece. I don’t necessarily agree with the doom-and-gloom of this piece, because the notion of a place where you go to pick up an deposit paper books is a little old and impractical, and notions like having a ‘who’s who’ is ridiculous in the age of the Internet.
Which is true? And what exactly is a library with no books, beside a website, a database, a cloud? Why, in the age of mobile mini-tech and ubiquitous wifi does such a library even exist? Couldn’t it just be a basement server with a million e-books on remote access?
With all due respect, I think the author is missing the point. A modern library is not a place where you go to get books. It’s a communal space celebrating books, art and the literary community. I go to libraries to be in the space, not to get books. Just like I go to a bookstore for the community, not for books I could buy cheaper online. Just like I go to a pub to be in a social space, not to buy overpriced beer.
Nonetheless, this article is worthy of a read, as an insight into how the idea of a library is transforming in the modern age. Maybe it will spark a story idea?