January 17, 2022

Internet Founding Father and Googler, Vint Cerf Talks About the Future of Libraries at London Conference

The legendary Vint Cerf (currently Internet Evangelist at Google) spoke about a number of topics when he was interviewed by CUNY journalism professor, author, and popular blogger Jeff Jarvis during the The Guardian’s Activate conference in London earlier this week.

The Next Web has a report about the conversation including Cerf’s thoughts on the future of libraries and importance of digital preservation.

From the Article:

When asked what he saw as the ‘future’ of libraries, he expressed deep concern about the way information will be stored and passed through generations. Books, if looked after, can be passed down through many generations – but the rate at which technology is evolving leads to some concerns about so-called bit-rot.

“You have no idea how eager I am to ensure that the notion of library does not disappear – it’s too important. But the thing is, it’s going to have to curate an extremely broad range of materials, and increasingly digital content,” says Cerf.


“We have to retain this notion of a place where information is accumulated and kept and curated and managed,” says Cerf.

The article continues with more from Cerf on the role of libraries/librarians to make sure that the knowledge we’re digitizing can be accessed and used in the future.

Cerf’s comments point to an area where library/librarian messaging could be stronger, the library/librarian role in the long-term preservation of material.

The library community knows about the digital preservation role (of course, it’s one of a libraries many roles) but the public is unaware or simply doesn’t think about what preservation means.

The library and related communities would do themselves a great favor by asking Cerf to elaborate on these comments and make them available through various outlets. Better yet, invite Cerf to speak at an event(s) that would focus on getting media and VIPs to understand what 21st Century Library’s and librarians are all about. As well all know, when a Googler talks (especially Vint Cerf) people listen.

The library world has a friend in Cerf and we should do all that we can to leverage his comments to help our cause.

The Next Web article also includes more about what Cerf and Jeff Jarvis discussed including:

  • Online Privacy
  • Two-Factor Authentication
  • Media
  • Encryption of Data
  • Internet of Things
  • Google Glasses

Read the Full Text Report on the Vint Cerf/Jeff Jarvis Conversation


About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.