Libraries now and in the future
The library of the future will still be a place for research and study, offering both individual computer workstations and conference rooms.
It will still be a gathering place and a center for scholarly collaboration, with the librarian acting as a key player on any research team. Moreover, libraries will continue to house and preserve both print and electronic materials for decades to come.
Tomorrow’s library will not be literally a library without walls and, for the foreseeable future, it will certainly not be a library without books.
Over time, of course, there will be more and more texts that will become machine-readable; many more collections will be accessible electronically, but faculty and students will always want access to bookshelves. They will always want to browse in “hardcopy” or printed materials.
The wisdom of the past, the learning of the present, the hopes and fears of the future—through the written word, all could be preserved and called upon whenever needed. In this realization lay the birth of libraries.