Relevance of libraries in the future


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Panel discussion at MANLIBNET 2013
Dec 26-28, 2013

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Relevance of libraries in the future

  1. 1. MANLIBNET 2013 International Conference on Entrepreneurial Approaches to Librarianship December 26-28, 2013 Panel Discussion on The relevance of libraries in the future December 26, 2013
  2. 2. • The prison industry needs to plan its future growth – how many cells are they going to need? How many prisoners are there going to be, 15 years from now? And they found they could predict it very easily, using a pretty simple algorithm, based on asking what percentage of 10 and 11-year-olds couldn't read. And certainly couldn't read for pleasure.
  3. 3. • Well-meaning adults can easily destroy a child's love of reading: stop them reading what they enjoy, or give them worthy-but-dull books that you like, the 21st-century equivalents of Victorian "improving" literature. You'll wind up with a generation convinced that reading is uncool and worse, unpleasant. • China in 2007, at the first party-approved science convention in Chinese history. fiction and fantasy • It's simple, he told me. The Chinese were brilliant at making things if other people But they did not innovate and they did not invent. They did not imagine. So they brought them the plans. sent a delegation to the US, to Apple, to Microsoft, to Google, and they asked the people there who were inventing the future about themselves. • found that all of them had read science fiction when they were boys or girls. And they
  4. 4. • Literacy is more important than ever it was, in this world of text and email, a world of written information. We need to read and write, we need global citizens who can read comfortably, comprehend what they are reading, understand nuance, and make themselves understood. • Libraries really are the gates to the future. So it is unfortunate that, round the world, we observe local authorities seizing the opportunity to close libraries as an easy way to save money, without realising that they are stealing from the future to pay for today. They are closing the gates that should be open. • According to a recent study by the OECD, England is the "only country where the oldest age group has higher proficiency in both literacy and numeracy than the youngest group, after other factors, such as gender, socio-economic backgrounds and type of occupations are taken into account". • Or to put it another way, our children and our grandchildren are less literate and less numerate than we are.
  5. 5. Libraries and development • Beyond Access: Libraries powering development - Digital divide is actually a development divide - Open Government Initiative • There are about 250000 public libs in the world • Ukraine: has 18000 libs – – – 1000 provide free internet Egov info Gradually increasing the coverage • Romania – – Gates Foundation helped 23000 libs and trained 2500 libns Increase employment • – 78k sought job assistance, 28k applied, 9k got jobs Farm savings • • 90k farmers applied for farm subsidy through libs 100m e received as subsidy, 150k working days saved, 500k euros saved in transportation • Challenges – – – Libs are caged in the ministry of ‘culture’, Should be multi ministry Lack of experience with development partnerships, financial squeeze Do not have the big impact picture Source: IFLA 2013, Singapore
  6. 6. Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa • in short supply — is learning that is academic rather than consumerist or market-driven. • a majority of students surveyed said “that they had not taken a single course . . . that required more than twenty pages of writing, and one third had not taken one that required even forty pages of reading per week”
  7. 7. Libraries and Learning: A History of Paradigm Change Scott Bennett, Yale University Librarian Emeritus From: portal: Libraries and the Academy, 9(2), April 2009
  8. 8. The 95 Percent Solution: School is not where most Americans learn most of their science by John H. Falk and Lynn D. Dierking American Scientist: v. 98 (Nov-Dec), 2010
  9. 9. Universities, ours and theirs Krishna Kumar (in The Hindu, August 9, 2012) • Recruitment of faculty • Concept of teaching (periods) • Concept of knowledge – research • Library • The fourth critical difference lies in the library. In the West, even in the most ordinary universities, the library forms the centre of life, both for teachers and students. Librarians enjoy a high status as their contribution to academic life cuts across academic disciplines…..
  10. 10. • • • Michael Ellsberg The author of The Education of Millionaires: It’s Not What You Think and It’s Not Too Late. He spent two years interviewing the nation’s most successful people who didn’t graduate college, and who instead majored in street smarts Read more: he-glorious-end-of-higher-educationsmonopoly-oncredibility/#ixzz2D8AMYSQt
  11. 11. Economic Times ND 26/11/13
  12. 12. Can we fit into roles that can serve users in this new world? If yes, we are relevant Else….