Struggles, Workers

Libraries on the Net

The conference ‘The future of the library in a Digital Age’ analyses how new technology is affecting them. It will be held on the 12th of October.

These days, with electronic books, digital editions of newspapers and that great, inexhaustible source of information that is the Internet, less and less human beings physically buy a book or newspaper, or get close to a library to find the information that they need. Everything is on the internet.

More and more people who promised they would never stop reading books in a physical format, seduced by the merits of technology – and its lower price – have acquired a tablet and already read the digital editions of the classics or best sellers on screens.

Despite the apparent lone voice of citizens that cries out for the goodness of these advances, some dissenting opinions exist that report that the Internet and reading by screen is leading to the disappearance of profound knowledge: that knowledge gained by sitting for long hours in the library or in front of a book in the quiet space of one’s own home.

Through this vision, knowledge of the Internet – without underestimating it – becomes a source of fast food knowledge, with scarce reflection, and the consequent lack of sedimentation in the brains into which it assimilates, giving rise to a society with less comprehension and less power of concentration: ultimately, a less wise society.

What this means for libraries, the dramatic advance of technology and how this process of change is affecting them, will be addressed in a conference held by Sir Deian Hopkin, President of the National Library of Wales and Advisor to the Prime Minister of Wales.

The conference, entitled ‘The future of the library in a Digital Age’ will be held on the occasion of the 2012 annual conference of the Bevan Foundation at 7.00 p.m. on the 12th October in South Wales’ Miners’ Library, Swansea, SA2 8PP.

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(Translated by Caroline Gutierrez –

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