Tag Archives: information

*** When We Are No More by Abby Smith Ramsey


When We Are No More: How Digital Memory Is Shaping Our Future ambitiously explores memory, individual and especially institutional, from the invention of writing to today’s internet. Written by a historian who once worked for the Library of Congress, it spends a bit too much time telling us about the history of this particular institution (although I enjoyed learning that its initial stock was replenished after a devastating fire by purchasing Jefferson’s personal library) but gives a solid historical perspective of the shifts from the oral culture to the written culture, to the establishment of libraries, and to today’s increasingly corporate-driven data guardianship.

If you ever thought that librarians were boring or perhaps behind the times, read this book to understand how we need to find solutions to preserving information that no longer resides in physical objects.

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** Library by Matthew Battles

Library: An Unquiet History is organized in a series of chapters focused on various famous libraries, from Alexandria’s onward. It seems that most chapters end in destruction, which is just a tad depressing,  But the most interesting part of the book for me was the changing vision and role for libraries over time, from a place where a few educated readers came to consult books that they already knew, or at least knew about, to a much more open place where readers come to explore. With that, the librarian’s role evolves from a custodian of books to a facilitator for the patrons. As information becomes available more and more cheaply, what will the role of the librarian become?

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Filed under Non fiction