ERIC Number: ED237115
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Sep-20
Reference Count: 0
Will the New Technologies Kill the Public Library?
With fiber optic networks that can deliver library materials directly to the user from computerized data banks, is there any need for the library function? For the short term, public libraries will survive. The answer for the medium and long-term is much less certain. Libraries will survive if librarians see themselves as active providers of information and services that the public needs to function effectively in a society changed by the communications revolution. Public libraries must continue to exist because they are central to maintaining the tradition of providing the free access to information necessary to have an informed public. Librarians will have to campaign to preserve free access to government information, as private data services may preempt the libraries' traditional role as information suppliers. Cable companies may be able to bar distribution by libraries and other nonprofit organizations from their two-way, interactive videotex systems, and thus become the gatekeepers of information. To preserve their relevance to the community, libraries should become production centers for educational, governmental, and public access channels on local cable television systems, programming some of the channels themselves. (Author/LMM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Access to Information
Note: Paper presented at the Conference of the Library and Information Technology Association of the American Library Association (Baltimore, MD, September 20, l983).