First: It’s not just about digitizing books.
That’s the biggest misconception that the public has about the role of digital technology in libraries, according to the chief digital officer of what is arguably the world’s largest public library.
New York Public Library’s Tony Ageh was recently in Seattle to talk about libraries’ digital transformation. Ageh made the point that tech now permeates pretty much all of a library’s operations, from ebooks and article databases, to systems for checking out materials and tracking fines.
“Librarians are incredibly risk averse,” he said. “I think they do care very much about patrons and about the impact that their work does, and so we’re very unlikely to take a chance when we’re dealing with public money and when we’re dealing with patrons; we have a personal relationship with them.”
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