WSJ: The Changing Culture of the New York Public Library

Posted on April 5, 2012 by

Note: We’ve updated this post (at the bottom) with a link to a recent keynote lecture (video) by Anthony Grafton. It’s titled, “The Transforming Book”.

From an WSJ “Ideas” Blog Post:

Anthony Grafton, a professor of history at Princeton and past president of the American Historical Association, is distressed when he contemplates the changes afoot at the New York Public Library. The library, he writes, is in the midst of altering

not only its appearance but its functions. Millions of books will move from its stacks to the … facility it shares with Princeton and Columbia, out here in suburban New Jersey. Readers who want to consult a book will often have to order it in advance — and may find, as readers sometimes do here, that real delivery times are slower than advertised ones. More recent books, in some cases at least, will circulate.

Instead of offering books, in the first instance, NYPL will offer banks of computers, fast Wi-Fi and lots of places designed for individuals and groups to work together: a big, and probably beautiful, digital commons, with a cafe and circulating collection.

Read the Complete Blog Post

See Also: “A tale of two libraries and a revolution” (by Anthony Grafton, The Daily Princetonian)

See Also: Video: “The Transforming Book”
Keynote Lecture by Dr. Grafton at the 2012 Spring Humanities Symposium at Messiah College.
Recorded on February 23, 2012. Made available online March 27, 2012
Symposia Website (Including Dr. Graton’s Bio)