In earlier times, when people had libraries of their own, it was considered a status symbol. For anybody who is an avid reader, a library is a source of inspiration and enjoyment. It is of course a source of information for many, but a great source of pleasure for those who have a reading habit. What is the future of the library as we know it?
It is wrong to say that the library has no future, because reading will always be a hobby, and plenty of people still love to hold a book in the hand or read by clicking away on the mouse. But the future library will definitely look different, the book collections will be more specific and only a small interested group of people will be making use of the physical library. It is the digital library that is fast gaining ground.
The modern n generation is hooked on to the net, and they are a curious lot, and are only satisfied if everything is visual and virtual. Hence it is best to introduce the E-library in schools, so that students can get all the information and news that they want right there in the library. On the outside the library should be made architecturally attractive too, so that it can become the most visited part of the school.
Not only in schools, but also in other educational institutions the digital library should be a good mixture of actual books as well as the IT program. The job of the librarian is to include as many programs as possible, so that access to the virtual and digital world is easy for students. People are not going to stop reading; just the format of presentation will undergo a change.
Earlier a library would be full of people who sat there for hours, sometimes for a number of days, if they were working on a project. They needed to be there, because the books were physically present in the library room and they could jot down notes. But the future library will have digital programs; perhaps containing the same material as in books, but available just with the click of a button.
The maintenance of a library is expensive, and it is the librarian, the historian and the archivist who is responsible for collecting and categorizing books. If libraries should continue to be funded, and the collections updated by employing a qualified librarian, people will automatically venture into such places and realize their worth and develop an interest for books. Information in today’s world comes free, but the pleasure of reading a book cannot be compared to reading on a screen.
The craze for watching movies is not diminishing, and there are enough members for DVD and CD libraries. Many people are in the habit of downloading music and movies, which is illegal. In the long run, it is better to watch movies from DVD libraries, which most people are doing today.
The library will become a place of activity, where students will be interacting with each other and the digital world to learn and get new information. This is definitely a change from the traditional library where it was peaceful and quiet. But learning is taking a new turn, so why shouldn’t the library continue to be a centre of learning, no matter what the methods may be.