Shirky’s newspaper ideas applied to Libraries

In Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable, Clay Shirky discusses the demise of the print newspapers, and the lack of imaginative thinking about the future.

Reading Shirky’s essay with an eye to how his ideas might apply to libraries, I offer these rewritings of some of the key quotes from Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable:

“If you want to know why newspapers libraries are in such trouble, the most salient fact is this: Printing presses library buildings & services are terrifically expensive to set up and to run.”

“Society doesn’t need newspapers libraries. What we need is journalism. access to information.”

“When we shift our attention from ’save newspapers libraries’ to ’save society’, the imperative changes from ‘preserve the current institutions’ to ‘do whatever works.’”

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  • @jvinopal @olinj started reading this in the middle and was hoping for some metaphor about fighting nazis via immunization/punching 1 hour ago
  • with @librarycourtney at the helm and folks like @kgs on the team, I have confidence the ALA ED search committee will do us proud. 1 hour ago
  • @wrk2lib my perspective is limited, but that's not the case in research libraries and some suggest trend is in direction of "or equivalent" 1 hour ago
  • @wrk2lib I appreciate your take and agree on your alt option. My only quibble is the assertion that MLS is currently req's for all prof jobs 1 hour ago
  • @joanpdx you just made my day!! 1 hour ago

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