Seth Godin on The Future of the Library
What is a public library for?
First, how we got here:
Before Gutenberg, a book cost about as much as a small house. As a result, only kings and bishops could afford to own a book of their own.
This naturally led to the creation of shared books, of libraries where scholars (everyone else was too busy not starving) could come to read books that they didn’t have to own. The library as warehouse for books worth sharing.
Only after that did we invent the librarian.
Brilliant as always. Perhaps even more so. (I’ve long loved librarians, especially reference librarians. Which is of course what the staff in fine bookstores are. Or were.)
My favorite line:
They are defending library as warehouse as opposed to fighting for the future, which is librarian as producer, concierge, connector, teacher and impresario.
And on a related note, you might enjoy this slide show of The World’s Most Inspiring Bookstores.
Because shouldn’t that librarian have a fine place in which to hang and do what they do so well?