Thursday, April 26, 2012

the public library -- a great unbusiness

Libraries (and other nonbusiness institutions such as schools, museums, churches) have for some years been looking to the business world for ideas. This can be useful -- up to a point. What we want to be careful to do is to take only useful and appropriate ideas, not just for ethical reasons, but because often the strength of a nonbusiness institution is the fact that it's not a business. A library doesn't have to make money on every transaction. This is extremely liberating.

Some unbusiness advantages libraries have:

The best price around for its services -- free.
Time, space, and other resources which are not directly linked to immediate sales.
Freedom to serve all segments of society, rather than just those who are most popular in the eyes of the greater culture or useful to the institution.
Genuine respect for all patrons which is not linked to any individual's usefulness to the institution.
Respect for patrons' privacy.

These characteristics can give libraries have a tremendous advantage against their "competitors" -- stores and the internet. And best of all, they don't require any extreme effort or change of direction; they are things libraries have already been doing right for generations.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

google's augmented reality glasses

The first step to cyborgism. High on my wish list.

Google: Project Glass