Notes on the iPad

Trying to gain a clear view of the iPad’s applications in the workplace, particularly in the library. How can, say, the roaming reference librarian benefit from Apple’s new device? How can library staff use iPad to access electronic content?

This post on Thomas Brevik’s Library 1.5 blog offers some perspective.

http://lib1point5.wordpress.com/2010/02/01/ipad-and-libraries-some-thoughts/

Today I read this article in Fortune. Will the iPad indeed render libraries obsolete? Huh? Certainly, it behooves librarians and information specialists to always observe and analyze emergent and growing trends and production in electronic communication and information tools and their potential utility in the library. Yet the library has grown to be far more than a print-based literature source and, with some possible exceptions, may be well beyond the reach of those dreaded electronics magnates.

The library as an institution is a community-centered space for all manner of activity. Print materials? Of course. And the more a library has, the more successful and more heavily-utilized it will be. Usually. But libraries continue to grow and adapt. They are recreating their physical places in the community and establishing their presence in the cyber community. Libraries are becoming superconnected and hyperlocal. They provide links among people. And people, not technology, define the library’s relevance.

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About Steven V. Kaszynski
librarian, editor, contributor

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