The future of library and archive

By | October 28, 2014

This article should be uploaded before a week and I apologize for the delay. But it’s true that after the visiting of reanimation library and the Interference Archive I have some new point to express about the future of library and archive.
The earlier age of library, according to several media studies scholars such as Harold Innis, is more likely to an institution to check instead of to improve the spreading and accessibility of knowledge. In ancient Egypt the Alexander Library collected abundant collections from different corners of the world, but its target was just to be the most magnificent library of the world and the accessibility of knowledge was limited to privileged nobles and clergies. Even those modern libraries such as the Morgan’s Library, the original function was still to satisfy the “archive fever” or their founders. These libraries are mainly focusing on the storage of knowledge and information rather than improving the flowing of knowledge.
But now some community libraries are exactly doing this job that some big institutions ignored. Though it’s unexpected small in actual space, Reanimation Library is doing some tasks beyond its location. The Interference Archive is in the same situation. One idea of the instructor impressed me a lot. He said that the archived materials should not be just categorized and stored. They should be displayed to the public and become the real public memory of the society. In last Tuesday’s class meeting I wanted to ask a question (but unfortunately failed to find the opportunity) that if the university libraries would be the “opponents” of public libraries as in a sense the university libraries initially have the “venom” to separate readers into the “professional” and the “public” and limit the accessibility of rear ones. This is another kind of knowledge monopoly in my opinion. Get back to previous topic. The independent community libraries and archives are respectable breakers of knowledge monopoly. Just as the vernacular and printing’s contribution in their ages, it’s reasonable to believe that these small but truly public institutions would also bring some significant evolutions in our society.

One thought on “The future of library and archive

  1. shannon Post author

    Excellent, Fan. I’m glad to see that our field trip gave you an opportunity to revisit a lot of the ideas we considered last week. Yes, these institutions have different missions and, correspondingly, different publics and commitments to accessibility.


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