Publication Date

Winter 2011


Message from Jay:

“The Digital Revolution [is] ripping through our lives like the meteor that extinguished the dinosaurs” – so writes Louis Rossetto, founding editor of Wired (June 2008). He goes on to say,“Practically every institution that our society is based on, from the local to the supranational, is being rendered obsolete. That is the world you [his children] are inheriting. ”I often think of this quote when people ask me “What is the future of libraries?” And, I think of another quote attributed to Charles Darwin, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change. ”What is the future of libraries? If libraries remain focused only on their traditional role of acquiring, cataloging and preserving print materials, there is not much of a future – libraries could become as extinct as the dinosaurs. And, we could serve the same purpose as dinosaur bones in museums do today – a reminder of prehistoric times. But, if libraries evolve and adapt as we understand the impacts of the “Digital Revolution,” we will have a strong future. It is the transition that is difficult. How do we maintain appropriate “homage” to the print world while we struggle to understand and adapt to the changing digital world? As I mentioned to the Friends of the Library Board recently, libraries must aim to be the cockroaches of the “Digital Revolution,” not the dinosaurs.

Jay Schafer

Director of Libraries