What does the future hold for libraries?Today I finally hid the time capsule that we have been putting together from our construction experience. It includes sample of construction & remodel materials, like paint chips and fabric swatches and a sample of the brick left over from the core drilling process. We also included some newspapers and articles about the construction and the library. After much cajoling I did get the staff to include pictures of themselves and comments or quotes. I'm not sure why they found this process so difficult. I guess they are intimidated at leaving a bad impression for the future. They were also invited to include a small memento to commemorate the occasion. I included a new uncirculated 2010 penny. Some staff included small books or bookmarks. We had a couple of pins with reading themes and some librarian themed temporary tattoos. We included a CD with construction photos, but who knows if the technology will be available in the future to read a CD. Think 8 track tapes...anyone have a player still? I think it was Susan that included a card from an old fashioned card catalog, will the librarians of the future even know what it is?
Overall, it's hard to imagine what a library will be in the future. Will having a hard copy of a book be the standard or will everything be a digital copy, read on a computer or other electronic device. I try and imagine reading to a child at bedtime with a e-reader device. It doesn't translate to warm and cozy feelings for me. It loses that sit on my lap and let's make a memory thing.
I don't know if it will be found in 10 years or 50 or 100 but I like to think that the librarians of the future will have the same goals about serving patrons, helping people find information and giving them great things to read. No matter what technology they use.
Michele, Children's Librarian & time capsule creator :)