Some great quotes, some interesting stats, though when I was finished I was left with three over-riding thoughts:
- Libraries are benefiting from the economic slowdown
- Audiences are fragmenting and the idea of touchstone works is being eroded
- Librarians think they might just replace publishers
Later in our phone conversation, Ms. Reardon did start to talk like the new guard at the gates. It was good to hear backbone in the library business—the same strength that I heard in the response of the librarian at New York Public Library. Speaking about the historic difference in how people use libraries, Ms. Reardon said, “The biggest shift for us is just how quickly information is at our fingertips. You used to go to the shelf, and you used to go to the Encyclopedia. So all of those reference materials, and all that stuff that used to be behind a librarians desk, all this very possessive nature that we had is gone now. What we [libraries] still own is that understanding in finding quality information, and that’s just our world, and we do it better than anybody.”
via Timothy McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: The State of Publishing..