Cory Doctorow for Freedom to Read Week

d.Construct - cory doctorow 2Freedom to Read Week is an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

To mark this year’s Freedom to Read Week, which starts today, we asked author Cory Doctorow to contribute a guest post on libraries and technology.

Libraries, Hackspaces and E-waste: how libraries can be the hub of a young maker revolution

Every discussion of libraries in the age of austerity always includes at least one blowhard who opines, “What do we need libraries for? We’ve got the Internet now!” 

Facepalm. 

The problem is that Mr. Blowhard has confused a library with a book depository. Now, those are useful, too, but a library isn’t just (or even necessarily) a place where you go to get books for free. Public libraries have always been places where skilled information professionals assisted the general public with the eternal quest to understand the world. Historically, librarians have sat at the coalface between the entire universe of published material and patrons, choosing books with at least a colorable claim to credibility, carefully cataloging and shelving them, and then assisting patrons in understanding how to synthesize the material contained therein.

Read the rest at Raincoast Books

March 2nd, 2013 by