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Cover: The Library Beyond the Book, from Harvard University PressCover: The Library Beyond the Book in PAPERBACK

The Library Beyond the Book

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Product Details

PAPERBACK

$26.00 • £20.95 • €23.50

ISBN 9780674725034

Publication: July 2014

Trade

176 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

50 color illustrations

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World

Transcending the tired debate of print vs. electronic, analog vs. digital, the authors take a long view of library history and attempt to envision possible scenarios for libraries of the future… Schnapp and Battles make an invaluable point: libraries, from the smallest to the largest, have way more stories than they know, and The Library Beyond the Book represents a rare attempt from outside the professional community to help libraries reconceive and better tell these stories. Also, they show that imagining the future of libraries doesn’t have to be a gripe session filled with doom and gloom; it can be exciting, original, and fun.—Justin Wadland, Los Angeles Review of Books

While iPad-bearing soothsayers banish print books to dustbins, coauthors Schnapp and Battles, both insightful provocateurs from Harvard University, envision dynamic and fluid architectural spaces warehousing paper as well as pixels. In a spirit of refreshing experimentation, they ask: What flexible qualities from the past can accommodate tomorrow’s information consumers and, when combined, produce innovative configurations for a digital world? These structures incorporate basic components used in libraries across centuries, such as bookshelves, card catalogs, librarians, and reference desks. Building upon this framework, the authors imagine six plausible scenarios for serving tomorrow’s diverse information consumers, situating libraries as everything from study shelters to civic institutions functioning as mobile libraries, reading rooms promoting social change, and/or event-driven knowledge centers… Schnapp and Battles offer plausible configurations of both book and library in the age of the Internet of Everything. Their imaginative essays demonstrate the rigorous research and design thinking customary within university settings.—Jerry P. Miller, Library Journal

Lively, quirky, and irreverent, this provocative book provides a refreshing tonic to stale debates about the death or deathlessness of the book.—Leah Price, Professor of English, Harvard University

Jeffrey T. Schnapp and Matthew BattlesThe Library Beyond the Book offers a brilliant reflection on, and a cross-section through, the past, present, and future of the library. If books have never been just books, as they suggest, this publication demonstrates that libraries have never been just libraries.—Mirko Zardini, Director, Canadian Centre for Architecture