The wonderful and handsome Mr. Rochester presented me with a Kindle for my birthday at the beginning of the month. I was surprised and delighted. I did not think I would own an ebook device anytime soon. In a few short weeks, I have fallen in love with this gadget (I can not even begin to tell you how awesome it really is) and it has made me consider again the future of the book.
I think that, regardless of what every bibliophile wants, that physical books will be regulated to vanity and specialty presses in the future. Maybe far into the future, but I would guess definitely in my lifetime. I adore books. I own quite a lot of them and I will continue to buy printed books for authors and series I like and collect.
Collect is the key word. Books have always been things I collect and now it is more like a collection than the fact that I simply have a lot of books. I will be more choosy about what I buy in paper. I have already made the decision that books for work and fluff books will be completely digital.
The Kindle’s capabilities for note taking, highlighting, and searching make it natural to move work related books to a digital format. I wish I would have had this as an undergrad and grad student! The fluff books will move to a digital format for me because it is cheaper to buy them in that format and I am more likely to want them to be mobile.
These recent musing have left me again thinking about what the future of the librarian profession will be in a digital world. Karen’s recent post about being positive in adversity has reminded me that we should always think of solutions when we criticize. David Lee King pointed to the idea that there will be a larger need for librarians (Content Curators) in light of the sheer amount of digital information.
Though I think the book will go, I do not think libraries and librarians will, but I do think that our jobs will look very different. I think our buildings, if we have them, will look different as well.
For me, I find this very exciting. I am glad to be a librarian at this time in history, despite the budget woes, the space problems, and the changes. I just think how fabulous it is to know that we could literally take our profession in any direction we choose because the future seems very flexible and that should make us all smile.
What kind of librarian do you want to be when you grow up?
–Jane, wants to read books