A year ago, I wrote an article entitled “Digital Underclass: What Happens When the Libraries Die.”
The article had a had a wide-ranging impact on the library community, and brought in opinions from both sides of the spectrum.
Some library scientists agreed with me that the eBook is indeed threatening the existence of the Public Library, while others such as notable library blogger Andy Woodworth were in firm disagreement, that libraries were still alive, but were entering a transformative phase.
I thought that it might be a good idea to take a look at the situation a year later.
Since that article has written, the eBook as a book distribution medium has utterly exploded. And while it has not immediately contributed to the fall of libraries, it has almost certainly contributed to the death of regular bookstores and independent booksellers.
In October 2011, Borders Books closed its doors, due to overall economic pressures facing all modern businesses, but also because the company was unable to adapt to the ebook and ereader revolution quickly enough.
While there has been no immediate indication that vast amounts of Public Libraries are going to close (at least in the United States, although the situation in the UK is much more serious) in any short period of time, there has certainly been movement and an increased call for