A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

November/December 2014Volume 53, No. 6

pl cover nov dec 2014

Looking at the Future of Libraries

“A library is a collection of possible futures.”—John Barth, Browsing1

The future of libraries is a lot like my office clock. It has your standard 1-12 numbering around the outside edge of the device, along with an inner ring that marks off the minutes in five-minute increments. Each hand ends in a circle, and you can read the clock by checking to see which numbers are inside each circle. In order to do so, you’ve got to realize that the hour hand is the bigger of the two—countering more than 1,000 years of conditioning telling us which clock hand is which