Monday, July 18, 2011

Another city is deciding on outsourcing the public library, this time in Toronto:
Help Save Toronto's Libraries! (on

I did a search in Google News to look for "outsourcing libraries":

I have been considering what other professions have done when faced with their world changing quickly, even overnight. Conversations with other librarians usually bring up "buggy whip manufacturers" as the example of what we might be facing. I was thinking about pre-Prohibition, though. What did the brewers do when faced with Prohibition? I know when I toured a winery in Missouri in the mid-90's, they said that the only way they were able to go back into business after Prohibition was due to some root stock that was hidden away, and keeping cash flow going through other means. We as librarians probably need to start considering the alternatives now for our own profession, at least until our 'prohibition' is repealed, if at all, and if in time. But if we are to make a come-back, when/if the world wonders where it will access information (the 'if' is due to last night's showing of Idiocracy - yeah, that is a confidence-building movie), where are we going to stash our root stock, now that most of our resources are electronic, and leased?