The Death of Libraries?

Abstract: Given the massive Google digitization project, this article argues that libraries’ futures depend on 2 factors: “the rate at which digitization and display technologies advance, and the evolution of laws and practices regarding copyrights.” Should they advance and evolve quickly, libraries will need to scramble to stay relevant.


Worries about the Death of libraries often occur in the face of our slowness to adopt technological changes. And, should the unthinkable happen, and libraries as they are traditionally conceived of become obsolete: we must adapt.  We simply need to focus on the unique services and skills that we offer. For instance, even nearly-free digital copies of books may be too expensive for broad swaths of the population and libraries would still be a source of free knowledge.

The Death of Libraries? (2005). Technology Review, 108(5). Retrieved September 2, 2008, from