Phew! Libraries Will NOT Become Extinct

Because of their “mutating role,” libraries will not become extinct by 2019, as predicted by the Extinction Timetable, says Witold Rybczynski in Slate today. His essay/slideshow looks at several central libraries (including Seattle, Chicago and Salt Lake City) and wonders “What sort of public library does the ‘digital world’ of Google, Wikipedia and Kindle require?” There are no revelations, but Rybczynski offers some interesting analyses of each building (Chicago is a “slightly forbidding Fortress of Knowledge.” I’ve always found it quite a bit more than slightly forbidding).

Rybczynski, Slate‘s architecture critic, has written several books, including Home: A History of an Idea and A Clearing in the Distance: Frederick Law Olmsted and North America in the Nineteenth Century.

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