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Time marches on

December 12, 2013

According to the yogurt container I bought in the store, it is already January 2014—you know what I mean. According to some folks, they know what will happen to libraries and librarians in the coming year, decade, century, and in some measure, I am sure all of these prognosticators are correct. But no one has it 100% correct.

E-publisher reps running around saying “print is dead” has not yet killed print. Open access advocates have not yet saved us from rapacious publishers. Rapacious publishers have not yet transformed this into a pay-per-view world. Hiccups in scholarly communication and literature research keep happening. That is, there is plenty of work for everyone who is interested, and if there can be some little agreement about in what direction we should be pulling, maybe future generations can enjoy a seamless, information-rich world. They might not understand all the grueling work that produced that seamless world at their fingertips, but who knows, you might wind up being appreciated after all.

Libraries have been chugging along for about 3,600 years now, have changed to meet the challenges, and I like to think that there will always be a place for stone and clay tablets in any library. In the coming year, I look forward to the sauces and soups of libraries and librarians providing nourishment for all information hungers, be they fast food information cravings or the most esoteric of haute cuisines in research. Same as it ever was. Our diversity and broad spectrum of knowledge and service are our greatest strengths. Good tidings, and may 2014 be your best year yet, mliswilltravel.

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