This video on the Transformation Lab: Prototyping the Future speaks to one of my favorite topics --enriching the physical library with "2.0" experience. (Thanks to Alane at IAG who thanks Darlene Fichter for the link.) As long as we are meat, everything is not online! The "Lab" is an amazing array of possibilities for the future of libraries.

However, I couldn't help seeing dollar signs all over these prototypes --kind of like the feeling I get when I'm looking for restaurants. I'm pretty much confined to the $ or $$ establishments and I'll probably never set foot in the $$$$$ places. The tools and technology toys in the video are very sophisticated and presumably very expensive.

For a refreshing contrast, check out the commentary by Amanda McKeraghan in the Radio OpenSource broadcast on Passion: Libraries!. She is the director of the Stevens County Rural Library District in Eastern Washington, a library system that only came into being in 1996 and survived a heated tax-revolt challenge in 2002. It is energizing to hear how the Stevens County staff have used 2.0 tools and how the rural community has responded.

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Comment by blgThree on May 29, 2007 at 3:20pm
I didn't interpret it as advocating abandoning the past --just peering into the crystal ball of the possible future of the physical library. I commend the Transformation Lab folks for making the attempt, but I didn't see anything that could be applied to the now library. Still, back in 1995, nobody predicted the social interactivity of the Web, which is what our current excitement over L2.0 is about. Maybe libraries of the future really will need to become a sort of exploratorium. It's the funding aspect of that vision that makes me cringe.


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