The role of libraries in the open knowledge society

SÎRB, Corina (2017) The role of libraries in the open knowledge society. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2017 – Wrocław, Poland – Libraries. Solidarity. Society. in Session S17 - Satellite Meeting: Latin America and the Caribbean Section. In: Libraries and the 2030 Agenda: Prospective Information and Forthcoming Society?, 15-16 August 2017, Timisoara, Romania.

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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


The role of libraries in the open knowledge society

Using the internet for research is common practice. And it’s hard to tell whether this is right or wrong, if we take into consideration the fact that one of the main challenges the internet has brought about, as far as self-education and open knowledge are concerned, is setting apart valuable information from speculations; scholars from bloggers; researchers from attention seekers. This is why in the first part of my article I give my full ¬attention to putting together a set of criteria that could help users make the difference between the two. But establishing some criteria and following a set of principles does not solve this problem entirely, because things are not just black and white. Not all knowledge is institutionalized, especially in emerging subjects like those concerning the digital industry, such as social media, online communication or web and mobile development. I will collectively refer to them as underground knowledge and give them a dedicated place in this paper¬ The last part of the present paper concerns the role of libraries in this complicated context, in a brief attempt to assess their place in nowadays education and see if we could identify some guidelines and principles aligned to the digital user’s changed needs and expectations. To achieve this, I will make use of data from two recent studies conducted by Nielsen, respectively MIT, in order to see, on the one hand, how users reading behavior has changed and on the other, how libraries should transform in order to stay relevant.

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