The importance of libraries continues to grow. More than book repositories, they can serve as bulwarks against some of the most critical challenges of our age: unequal access to education, jobs, and information.
Yet educator and technology expert John Palfrey maintains they’re imperiled and must evolve. The world is rapidly modernizing. Government funding is dwindling.
Nearing the end of the 10th anniversary year of the opening of Kansas City’s elegant downtown Central Library, the head of Massachusetts’ esteemed Phillips Academy discusses his soon-to-be released book, BiblioTech, and suggests changes he says are vital to libraries’ survival. He urges them to move toward a digital future as quickly as possible—converting print material and ensuring that born-digital items are publicly available online—while continuing to fill their vital, longtime role as public spaces.