Brief History of the Future of Libraries

Overview

As we enter a new millennium, librarianship and other information professions are swept up in a period of rapid, almost frantic, change. But while there is widespread recognition that libraries in the future will be vastly different from what we know today, precisely how this change will occur is and always has been a matter of considerable speculation. To this end, Gregg Sapp has analyzed library-based predictions made between 1978, the year F.W. Lancaster published Toward Paperless Information Systems, and ...

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Overview

As we enter a new millennium, librarianship and other information professions are swept up in a period of rapid, almost frantic, change. But while there is widespread recognition that libraries in the future will be vastly different from what we know today, precisely how this change will occur is and always has been a matter of considerable speculation. To this end, Gregg Sapp has analyzed library-based predictions made between 1978, the year F.W. Lancaster published Toward Paperless Information Systems, and 1999;and compared them with seminal works published since 1876, the publication of the first issue of American Library Journal. Includes [between 500 and 700] annotated entries.

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Editorial Reviews

American Reference Books Annual (ARBA)
At a time when more traditional views of those like Nicholson Baker (Double Fold, 2001) enjoy a high profile, such a volume as this offers an analysis of contrasting writings and a reminder that the future is now.
College & Research Libraries (C&RL)
A Brief History of the Future of Libraries is extremely useful for librarians seeking to trace the evolution of contemporary library theories and goals...
L&C Book Reviews
This handy volume makes a valuable if unconventional contribution to library history, particularly the history of information technology, of recent decades.
American Reference Books Annual
At a time when more traditional views of those like Nicholson Baker (Double Fold, 2001) enjoy a high profile, such a volume as this offers an analysis of contrasting writings and a reminder that the future is now.
Technicalities
This book is much more than the subtitle suggests...An essential purchase for all library-related educational programs and useful for futuristic university courses. I recommend it for all librarians because it gives a sense of perspective to statements made from time to time about the future of our profession.
Booknews
Some 600 annotated entries provide a balanced view between dire and visionary perspectives on libraries' future.
College & Research Libraries
A Brief History of the Future of Libraries is extremely useful for librarians seeking to trace the evolution of contemporary library theories and goals...
Library Journal
The future seems to be a big topic in libraries. There is a plethora of journal articles and books on what the library of tomorrow is going to be like. Librarians are speculating on the future of everything, from cataloging to the use of artificial intelligence to aid library users. But, as we see in Sapp's new book, this is nothing new. Librarians have been thinking and writing about this topic for centuries. In order to keep his bibliography brief and focused, Sapp (Science Lib., SUNY at Albany) uses W.F. Lancaster's Toward Paperless Information Systems (o.p.) as a point of departure. The over 600 annotated entries cite either Lancaster's work or a work that cites it, or has some relation to it. [As a brief aside, for those of you who have not encountered Lancaster's classic book, do yourself a favor and read it if you are lucky enough to have a copy.] In the introduction Sapp gives a brief summary of library history and what many great and near-great thinkers had to say about the future of the library. Then each chapter covers a five-year time span, starting with an overview of the predictions made during that period, followed by the collection of annotated citations. (Sapp analyzes predictions made between 1978, when Lancaster's book was published, and 1999.) The annotations are well written and give the reader a clear understanding of the article. Interesting and easy to read, this volume is recommended for library science collections and library historians.-Tim Daniels, Lib. & Information Ctr., Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810841963
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/1/2002
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.64 (w) x 8.78 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Gregg Sapp is Head of the Science Library at the State University of New York, Albany.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Acknowledgments Chapter 3 Introduction Chapter 4 List of Journal Abbreviations Chapter 5 1 Tradition Confronts Technology: 1978-1984 Chapter 6 2 New Directions and the Beginnings of Change, 1985-1989 Chapter 7 3 Electronic Libraries and New Paradigms, 1990-1994 Chapter 8 4 The Future Arrives, 1995-1999 Chapter 9 Index Chapter 10 About the Author

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