Unless libraries can tailor everything that they do and stand for towards the digital universe, their days as a wellspring of knowledge and information are numbered. After reading an article titled, “The Impatience of the Google Generation” in wich the author and the responses essentially come to the conclusion that the current generation and younger generations for that matter, are essentially impatient when it comes to how quickly they can find and receive information, I can only assume that the last place that they would want to go is a place where their information was in a hard bound book!
OK, so yes libraries have computers that are tied not only to their volumes of hardbound books but also to search as it relates to the internet. But riddle me this: Why would I go to a library and search for a book when I could log onto a computer and find the same information? Says the 18-24 old student. I know it’s deeper than that, but lets put ourselves in the place of someone in college or younger. A) every college student, or a good portion of them now have their own laptop. So now they “walk” around with access to any and all information/research that they will ever need. Bogus wikis notwithstanding. and B) They are so accustomed to getting information readily, that going to a library defeats the purpose of library research per se.
Of course, they can still go to the “quiet” library to get work done. And there are still certain things that a library provides or possesses that a student still might need or utilize, but…the thinking is,”It’s all here on the internet”!
Generation “C” (content) has no use for a library. In fact I would venture to guess that funding on local, state and federal levels for libraries is constantly slashed in favor of more digital type programs or programs that lawmakers feel have more importance.
Having said that, here is one more thing for you to chew on. The Amazon Kindle is an electronic book device launched in the US by Amazon.com this past November. It uses an electronic paper display, reads the proprietary Kindle (AZW) format, and downloads content over Amazon Whispernet, which uses the Sprint EVDO network. This means that the Kindle can be used without the need for a computer. Whispernet is accessible through Kindle without any fee. On the release day, the Kindle Store had more than 88,000 digital titles available for download. Amazon’s first offering of the Kindle sold out in five and a half hours. It retails for $399.
Think about it. People still want to read but they want it condensed and more than just portable. So does this mean that the Dust jacket will go the way of the Jewel Case and album art? If the latest advances in media, music and entertainment are any indication, it appears that that will be the case.