Saturday, June 14, 2014

Daily Thoughts 06/14/2014

William Hogarth, David Garrick With His Wife, 1757
Daily Thoughts 06/14/2014

I checked the library Twitter and Facebook.

I read some more of Capital in the Twenty First Century.  Thomas Piketty is writing about substitution of capital for labor.  He discusses how robotics can replace labor and even at one point posits a fully roboticized economy.  As part of the discussions there is speculation on the relation of technology to productivity.  Earlier he described the relation of productivity to money.  It makes me think deeply.  He also described the increasing importance of skills and knowledge with labor.  This book has a lot of ideas in it that challenge traditional economic thinking.  

I read a little bit more of The Island at the Center of the World by Russell Shorto.  I am reading about the voyages of Henry Hudson.

I spent a little time thinking about what Mark Y. Herring said in Are Libraries Obsolete? He does a good job of reminding people that print is not obsolete and that the internet is often not the best source for finding information.  He also reminds us that libraries are no longer about information, they are about knowledge, helping people put information to use.  This is a subtle but important distinction, it is the difference between searching for company information and searching for the right kind of company for an individual to apply to.

Mr. Herring does a good job of pointing out that we cannot beat the technology companies in new technology, but we can offer value added services, and specialized information that requires skill and resources to have.  He also reminds us that the internet is not wonderful to everyone and not everyone wants to be surrounded by machines all the time.

Some value added services would be readers advisory, computer classes, book clubs, and programs.

He also reminds us that we have a lot of archival material and unique material which the internet will not have.  For example, we have a very nice set of historical pictures of Mount Vernon, New York at our library.

The library is also a space where people can study, meet, and work.  This means that the library can have meeting spaces, study spaces, and work spaces unlike the internet. 

The last part of the book was worth reading.  At points, Mark Y. Herring comes across as being very conservative and old fashioned and not liking technology.

Web Bits

The Library of the Future-- Melanie Florencio-- TEDx
This is about Makerspaces.

A Literary Expert On Driving In the Dark, Neil Gaiman Follows the Guiding Light of Instinct

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