by Kelvin Smith
In physical space monumental piles of paper and data archives, financed by expansionary commerce and philanthropic urges, store and provide access to evidence for self-betterment and canonical trending. In city centres grand façades guard the contents of imposing interiors made of hard woods, brass and sculptured stone.
Forgotten and dismissed by publishers and politicians in the first euphoria of the digital economy, many libraries are on last legs: forced to destock (throw away books), rationalize staff (fire qualified librarians), adapt to new technology (swap useful paper for obsolescent technologies), and democratize (banish silence and difficult texts).
Some walking wounded carry on.