Posts for Tag: Libraries

Vitamin hubs for the mind

Based on a request of a Dutch newspaper I wrote a concise opinion about the importance of libraries

Libraries are vitamin hubs for the mind. As vitamins are vital for the growth, recovery and well-functioning of the body, so are libraries indispensable for self- and social-reliance and -resilience, the ability to contextualize and to give meaning in a changing society. They are gateways to knowledge and imagination and adversaries of modern illiteracy. ‘Literacy is pattern recognition and action’ (David Lankes).

The deterioration of the library landscape is alarming. Every authority should invest in matters that are socially desirable, but (short-term) economically not profitable. Let’s not forget that a nation that doesn’t teach and encourages its children to read and to stay literate long-term destroys its own future.

Please feel free to reflect, react and to share.

Thei Geurts, February 21, 2020

Participating and collaborating in spontaneous networks

Libraries have the ambition to facilitate the creation of knowledge in and for their communities. Taken from a broader perspective, this ambition fits within the trend from meconomics to weconomics as described in The future of business here. Therefore libraries face the same challenge as all organizations in the private and public sector.
They all experience that cooperation, coordination and communication is going to take more and more place in constantly changing constellations. Participating and collaborating in spontaneous networks becomes the new normal. The question is whether organizations are capable to deal with this paradigm shift in the way they work.

Libraries and 'The process of me'

Libraries were in the vanguard of the sharing economy long before Uber, Airbnb and other 'would-be' channel commanders came on the market. In contrast to these providers, libraries can be regarded as 'merit good', a service that is socially desirable, but economically not profitable (at least at the point of consumption).
In today's emerging digital economy libraries face the risk of gradual extinction. Adapting 'the process of me' concept may help to prevent this.