ATG Book of the Week: BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google

by | Nov 6, 2020 | 0 comments

BiblioTECH 9780465042999

Title: BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google
Author: John Palfrey
Hardcover: 
ISBN 13: 978-0-465-04299-9, $26.99 / $33.99 CAN
Imprint: New York: Basic Books 2015

Founding chairman of the Digital Public Library of America John Palfrey explains how libraries can survive and flourish in a digital world…

In BiblioTech, educator and technology expert John Palfrey argues that anyone seeking to participate in the 21st century needs to understand how to find and use the vast stores of information available online. And libraries, which play a crucial role in making these skills and information available, are at risk. In order to survive our rapidly modernizing world and dwindling government funding, libraries must make the transition to a digital future as soon as possible—by digitizing print material and ensuring that born-digital material is publicly available online.

Not all of these changes will be easy for libraries to implement. But as Palfrey boldly argues, these modifications are vital if we hope to save libraries and, through them, the American democratic ideal.”


Reviews

Deborah L Jacobs, former City Librarian of the Seattle Public Library
“John Palfrey has crafted a bold new vision and compelling argument for the power and value of public libraries. Perhaps more importantly he warns us of the unfortunate future for free societies if we simply stay the course and don’t ‘create a new nostalgia’ for the digital age. Many speeches have been given and books written on the topic of the ‘future library,’ but this is the finest and most inspiring call to true action I’ve read. BiblioTech should be required reading for not only every librarian, but every library supporter and policymaker.”―

Doron Weber, Vice President of Programs and Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
“One of America’s top educators and library leaders makes a passionate argument for why libraries in the digital age are more important than ever to our democracy. In a lucid, conversational style that draws on his unique knowledge and experience, digital library pioneer John Palfrey offers a penetrating analysis of how libraries must transition to a digital, collaborative, and networked future while preserving the best of their traditional physical advantages. An urgent, eloquent call for the public option—indeed, the public obligation!—to step up and manage this historic shift to the digital future so that every member of society has equal access to knowledge and information that is responsibly presented and preserved for the benefit of all.”

Lawrence Lessig, author of Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress—and a Plan to Stop It
“A powerful and beautifully crafted argument for extending the reach of one our culture’s most important common resources: the library. But John Palfrey’s unique perspective—as an educator, an academic administrator, former law professor, and former law librarian—makes this a book not just about libraries, but also about culture in the digital age, and how much common culture depends upon the commitment to shared and public resources.”―

Jim Leach, former Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities
“In BiblioTech, John Palfrey sums up the seminal function libraries have played in inspiring and preserving creative thought over the ages. Then, with confident optimism, Palfrey makes it—counter intuitively—clear that the digital age has expanded the function and energy level of libraries. In a splintered world, these book-centric institutions have also become singularly safe and welcoming tech havens where the public can seek knowledge and gain access to wide-ranging perspectives about events and circumstances, real and fictional. It is the library where the imagination is un-shackled, where the past and present can be civilly probed and the future contemplated, alone or together in community. As a society we short-change these civilizing institutions at our peril.”―

Nature
“Anyone interested in the future of libraries—and whether there is one at all—will find much to mull over in this book.”

Library Journal, starred review
“A celebration of libraries as well as a dose of tough love- this work should be required reading for librarians, particularly those who are looking to lead their libraries into the future.”

Publishers Weekly
“Carves out a strong and exciting vision for libraries in the 21st century.”

Kirkus
Palfrey provides insight into local efforts in schools and libraries around the country…. A significant wake-up call.”

 

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