[University Librarian Jonathan] Bengtson said there are two primary and enduring purposes of libraries: preservation and access. He said that when materials are digitized, the paper-based originals are kept and preserved, but there are still questions about how to preserve electronic or digitized objects.
“That’s a whole issue right now in libraries. Because so much information … is now being produced in so many different places, it’s a matter of, ‘What do we preserve and how do we provide access to it?’
“We’re in this hybrid space right now.” Bengtson noted that things have changed drastically since his own university days began in the pre-Internet mid1980s, when research involved using the card catalogue.
The changes are, if anything, increasing the vibrancy of the library’s role, Bengtson said.
“I’m absolutely convinced that we’re about to enter a Golden Age for libraries. Libraries are positioned as never before, and it’s taken thousands of years of history to have a much more direct and interactive relationship with the learning process and the research process.
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* Bengstom became University Librarian at the University of Victoria earlier this year.