Articles on Libraries

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New technologies are taking books and libraries to places that are, as yet, unimaginable. Shutterstock

Friday essay: why libraries can and must change

The history of the library is replete with mechanical marvels. More than collections of books, libraries are social, cultural and technological institutions that house the very idea of a society.
Unstacked allows us to see what others’ are searching for among the 6 million items in the State Library of NSW’s collection. Unstacked/the State Library of NSW

Unstacked: revealing the hidden gems of the State Library of NSW

A new website allows you to see what other people search for in the State Library of NSW's vast collection of artefacts -- and discover things you'd never think to look up in the first place.
How can students think critically about information in today’s age? UBC Library Communications/flickr

The challenge facing libraries in an era of fake news

Since the 19th century academic librarians have helped students navigate the complex world of information. In today's unpredictable information environment, how might they rethink their role?
E-books are likely to reach 20% of library holdings by 2020, but writers aren’t receiving renumeration from these sources. Is this changing any time soon? Picjumbo

Should writers be paid for their e-books lent by libraries?

When you borrow a paper book from a library, authors get a small royalty, which is their second most important source of income. Yet if you borrowed an e-book tomorrow, the author would get nothing.
The National Library of Australia safeguards one of Australia’s most important living archives. Paul Hagon

Treasure Trove: why defunding Trove leaves Australia poorer

Australia has one of the world's best reference libraries, available freely to anyone with an internet connection. Severe funding cuts will cripple Trove's capacity – and that should worry everyone.
Banned Books Week highlights books that have been challenged or permanently removed from library shelves. 'Shelves' via www.shutterstock.com

How do libraries get away with banning books?

While legal precedent makes banning books difficult, it still happens.
Since 1982, over 11,000 books have been challenged by individuals seeking to have them banned from schools or libraries. 'Book' via www.shutterstock.com

I’m a librarian who banned a book. Here’s why.

When only six people showed up for a panel designed to raise awareness of banned books, the pot needed to be stirred a bit.
Yes, libraries have a place and function - but academics and researchers can get along just fine without them. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

How good librarians have made themselves obsolete to some users

Libraries are warm, dry and safe spaces with free Internet, which many people need. But academics and researchers in the 21st century can get along very well without them.
A woman visits the Scientific Institute in Cairo, Egypt. The role of libraries is changing but they are as relevant and important as ever. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

African libraries that adapt can take the continent’s knowledge to the world

African libraries have more of an opportunity than ever before to bring the continent's knowledge to the world. They just need to adapt their traditional roles and functions.

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