This is really interesting... thanks for the pointer, Eric.

Eric Lease Morgan wrote, on Tue, Jul 20, 2004 at 06:46:03AM -0500:
> What would a library be in such a scenario? I don't think it would  be
> very much about collections because everybody would be carrying the
> entire collection around in their pocket. Instead, I think library
> would be more about service -- ways to use and interpret the
> information/knowledge in the collection.

In thinking about this a lot lately, a few of us have come to a conclusion
that it remains very much about collections, but with a vastly expanded
notion of collection development.  i.e. that planning services around
our traditional notions of centralized collection development will soon
become insufficient when so much decentralized, personal collection
development is going on.

Which is to say that yes, it's definitely about service. :)

> exist. Second, in a digital environment, libraries had better wake up,
> smell the coffee, and work on ways to provide more services digitally.
> As access becomes increasingly irrelevant, everybody will have access,
> other services will have to become more important, such as
> interpretation and manipulation.

Just to expand on "provide more service digitally":  we'd better find
ways to provide services that span the boundaries between traditional
collections and personal devices with personal collections.

To counter: access will never be irrelevant.  This isn't a community
college giving everybody access, it's Duke, one of the wealthier private
institutions around.  Giving everybody iPods also gives everybody DRM
systems.  Granted, it might be one of the "more reasonable" DRM systems,
but it's rights-managed nonetheless.  First one's free, it seems.

Another quick thought:  by October, Durham, NC will be the world's only
place where it's no longer cool to be seen with white earphones. :P

Mmmm, coffee...


Daniel Chudnov
Yale Center for Medical Informatics
(203) 737-5789