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The Library Beyond the Book

The Library Beyond the Book

Jeffrey T. Schnapp, Matthew Battles

ISBN 9780674725034

Publication date: 07/07/2014

With textbook readers and digital downloads proliferating, it is easy to imagine a time when printed books will vanish. Such forecasts miss the mark, argue Jeffrey Schnapp and Matthew Battles. Future bookshelves will not be wholly virtual, and libraries will thrive—although in a variety of new social, cultural, and architectural forms. Schnapp and Battles combine deep study of the library’s history with a record of institutional and technical innovation at metaLAB, a research group at the forefront of the digital humanities. They gather these currents in The Library Beyond the Book, exploring what libraries have been in the past to speculate on what they will become: hybrid places that intermingle books and ebooks, analog and digital formats, paper and pixels.

Libraries have always been mix-and-match spaces, and remix is their most plausible future scenario. Speculative and provocative, The Library Beyond the Book explains book culture for a world where the physical and the virtual blend with ever increasing intimacy.

Praise

  • 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

Authors

  • Jeffrey T. Schnapp is the faculty director of metaLAB at Harvard University and faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
  • Matthew Battles is Associate Director of metaLAB at Harvard University.

Book Details

  • 176 pages
  • 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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