The Book Industry Strategy Group final report came out yesterday. It is interesting reading, libraries are mentioned many times and there are a number of issues facing book sellers that are synonymous with libraries.
Public libraries, physical depositories of books, journals,
magazines and newspapers were essential elements in
community education, especially self-education, for three
centuries, places where readers were exposed to chance
encounters with unfamiliar material and the assistance of
helpful librarians. But the very concept of a public library is
currently under threat and may appear to some readers as
remote as the medieval monastery, especially when they
can access the contents of the Library of Congress from
their iPads. The Fisher Library of the University of Sydney
plans to eliminate 500,000 books from its collection. The
University of New South Wales Library is converting library
space to lounges, which are more friendly to people using
ereaders. It is difficult to imagine any government in 2011
committing large sums to the construction of new libraries.