|WSJ photo of Library worker demonstrating the digitally locked cubby.|
This article really annoyed me, because it’s got both Library folks and the general public focusing on the wrong issues. There’s nothing wrong with the book vending machines themselves – the danger here is the assumption that all libraries do is lend books.
If our value as library professionals lies in our specialized knowledge and expertise, maybe the future of libraries lies in embracing the book vending machine as a way to cut shelving and circulation costs. Then we could instead focus our efforts – and especially our public awareness efforts – on the value of the other things we offer, things that book lockers can not.