Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to look back on the last 30 years of technology development for libraries. Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents an interview that took place at the American Library Association Annual Meeting in Anaheim, California. Findings – The paper reveals that many of the developments are slow. There are very few really sudden revolutions in social‐scale technologies. They do not switch on quickly and cannot be sudden because the installed base is too thin. Originality/value – The paper reveals that there should be some renewed conversation about how libraries can help the public. In the early days of the internet libraries played an enormous uncredited role in teaching the adult population about the internet. There are some opportunities like that now, and one place where we are starting to see signs of it is digital preservation, not as libraries doing it for the cultural record, but helping individuals to do it for their own content.
Library Hi Tech – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 16, 2012
Keywords: Information technology; Academic libraries; Librarianship history
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