The future of the library: From electric media to digital media
Libraries: a pillar of society
Soon after the skill of writing was developed, more than 5,000 years ago, the need to save what had been written led to the phenomenon of the library. To understand the library’s history and role in society, no resource is more important than Marshall McLuhan’s and Robert K. Logan’s 1997 seminal text, The future of the library.1
With its focus on the public library, the original manuscript, which lay as an unpublished book for some 36 years, tracks and analyses the library’s entire history and changing role up to the 1990s, in terms of its “ground” and “figure”.2 The text also considers the alphabet, the written word, the phenomenon of the book, and reading, all of which are integral to the library’s definition and purpose, communication, and the pursuit of knowledge.
Generalists and students of library sciences are bound to be amazed by The future of the library, now updated and published in book form. It reveals the library to be far more important and...