Wednesday 27 July 2011
This lunchtime I announced gleefully that I was taking a trip to the library and was scorned, yes actually scorned by my colleagues. They found the fact that I was using a library hilarious and announced that Sarah Jessica Parker (à la Carrie in Sex and the City) and I must be the only people that still use libraries.
I was bemused by this comment, but the more I thought about it, the more it frightened me. Are libraries already obsolete in the minds of the masses? Is it only students, scholars and the elite few that still use libraries on a regular basis?
It got me thinking about the digital revolution. If libraries are so viewed already as antiquated, quaint and not really of any use, what will happen to them as the popularity of digital books continues further?
This is a particular worry to me. I live and work in Birmingham and am frequently faced with the plans and advertising for the city’s new library ‘coming 2013’. A year may be a long time but two will fly by. Will the library be obsolete by the time it is complete or will it revive library usage? I can only hope for the latter.