The Extinction of Libraries

First of all, this extinction timeline must be a gag because Elvis is alive and well and enjoying a jelly donut and the good company of a Branson, MO Cracker Barrel waitress as I type, so right off, they can't even get that straight.
(You all say it now, "I love me the company of a good woman and a good jelly donut." Keep the King alive.)

And all these stupid things get killed off for the benefit of people living at the top of the curve. For example, "Getting Lost" will get lost in 2014? This assumes that people know the difference between right and left; and as scientists observing the public daily, we know this will never happen. When assisting the public, "No, your other left" has become one of our most-used slogans (along with "that doesn't belong in your mouth" and "if you don't put your pants on, I'm calling the police.")

And you know they're really screwing around because they add "lists of predictions" and "futurists" expiring in 2050.

But getting back to the extinction of libraries which the chart has at 2019; we know that libraries are an expression of a need and librarians are the professional representation of that expression. As long as the need exists, we exist. The form of the job may change, but the nature of the work and the work itself should still exist.

Some might say that helping people to find books and answers is a lost cause. People don't want answers that require them to think, they want answers fast. And that might be true. People might decide that they don't need us. Who knows, it's possible that we could all end up as researchers for the military if that's the only place that has any money.

But Google promises better results based on ad revenue divided by usefulness. And those aren't always the best results (so far). As librarians, we offer better results based on usefulness divided by public or grant funding. But it's possible that in the future, we might all be working for private companies. Truly, librarians are damn smart generalists and can fit into any organization that has the need.

Sometimes I believe the quote from I, Robot (the Will Smith movie): "I don't know, maybe you would have simply banned the Internet to keep the libraries open." And I worry about the future.

There are lots of magic tricks that still haven't happened yet. For example, you know that soon Google will provide proximity search results, whereby they use your IP to filter and get local information to appear at the top. If I search for "toyota," I should get the nearest Toyota dealer first. And in place of the worthless "I'm Feeling Lucky" button, they'll put a "there's no place like home" button which will produce that proximity search. And they can afford to buy that phrase from MGM or whoever owns it.

So there are a lot of things to worry about. Number one is how the public sees us. And they should always see us sitting above them, pointing and laughing at their mistakes. That's my opinion, anyway.

Oh, and for the record, they list Lindsay Lohan as becoming extinct in 2007 which I scooped them on in my hilariously unfunny parody post back in August. So future that, Ross.

Comments

in a nutshell

"So there are a lot of things to worry about."This pretty much sums up the whole of the writing on libraries and librarians on the Internet.

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