Seth Godin Blogs on the Future of Libraries

Irrepressible US author, entrepreneur and commentator on the arts of spin, Seth Godin, has built a career on overturning the conventional wisdom on a host of subjects related to business, marketing and information (read this interview by way of example). In his 2000 book Unleashing the Ideavirus - said to be the most downloaded ebook of all time - Godin developed the idea of the book as a souvenir or memento of a reader’s encounter with an idea. In 2008, Godin started his own MBA program and, in late 2010, he announced the Domino Project, which is publishing half a dozen business titles for Amazon Kindles using Amazon’s Powered By Amazon publishing program.

Now Godin has turned his attention to the future of libraries. With the epublishing revolution in full swing, the subject has proven a bottomless well of debate for information professionals. In a recent blog Godin writes, “Before Gutenberg, a book cost about as much as a small house. As a result, only kings and bishops could afford to own a book of their own.” In five years, he predicts, “[e]readers will be as expensive as Gillette razors, and ebooks will cost less than the blades.” The future of the library, he concludes, isn’t in the concept of the library as a storehouse for books, but in the concept of the librarian as an information specialist - the librarian “as producer, concierge, connector, teacher and impresario.”

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