With the onslaught of new forms of media ushered in by fast-evolving technologies and the growth of the internet, the world of print is changing rapidly. Magazines are discussing the doomsday prophesies of the book industry, as smaller publishers get gobbled up by large conglomerate companies interested mostly in the bottom line (this article from the magazine New York lays out the tumultuous road the book industry faces). Newspapers are commenting on the demise of the magazine (check out this cool graphic from the New York Times that shows the number of ad pages plummeting for some mags), and bloggers are announcing that the age of the newspaper is drawing to a close (this blog entry is one among many). As publishing drastically changes in the new information economy, libraries do try and keep up, and it is no stretch to say that the libraries of the future will look drastically different than the ones of the past. Yet, as of now, we need to remember that projections and predictions aren’t the same as reality — we’ll continue to collect print materials as long as there are important print materials published. And let’s hope that the really quality materials will be skillful enough to adapt to new markets and new readers!
Thanks to Cynthia Slater for the New York Times graphic!