Press: “Nate Hill’s three C’s for digital public libraries—and my thoughts on publibs’ real needs vs. the chaos of the ‘big tent’”

Posted by Kenny Whitebloom on May 18, 2011 in Press.

“Should America’s public libraries live in a ‘big tent’ with the academic libraries, as some well-meaning people have called for? Not my favorite image, alas. Makes me think of Barnum & Bailey or life in post-Katrina shelters.

“The big-tent sentiment is noble—I once felt that way myself—and, yes, all libraries should work closely on common projects. But we truly need separate publib and academic digital systems. That was clearer than ever to me when I advocated one national system in the Chronicle of Higher Education and got flamed by academics with little understanding of the needs of public library users, especially in low-income rural areas. Too many campus librarians and friends have trouble imagining life in small towns where the rack at Walmart may be the closest thing to a bookstore.”

From David Rothman’s post on LibraryCity.org, “Nate Hill’s three C’s for digital public libraries—and my thoughts on publibs’ real needs vs. the chaos of the ‘big tent’

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