I have a library theme going here …
With the advent of the iPad and e-readers quickly becoming a reality, it is sometimes difficult to keep pushing the technology in your fiction forward – so that in a couple years, when you are published (we hope! we hope!), the technology will not have already become old hat.
Yet, dreaming up the next cool thing is part of what science fiction is about.
A couple weeks ago I had to imagine what the library of the future would look like (70 years hence). And it was a SCHOOL library, not the Library of Congress, so we’re not talking about archiving ancient documents onto digital storage, we’re talking how do kids use the library in 70 years?
Given that the way kids are using the library today is changing at a fast clip, dreaming up the Library of the Future was no small task.
I went with a “pod” concept – everyone working in small, subject-focused groups. There would be a multimedia pod, where a small group could access the world wide information source (interwebs of the day) and use it to create their own audio/video presentations. Other small group pods, with kids clustered around an interactive holoscreen, could be used for group research projects. There should definitely be a Literature Lab, where digital representations of great books and ancient texts could be summoned for study, as well as video collaboration with other students around the world and subject-experts. And of course individual work pod stations, for independent studies.
My favorite would be the climate-controlled room in the back, where they store the paper-book relics. Carefully monitored and password protected, these books could be examined in-situ like the revered original sources that they were. Useful for nostalgic history teachers and other types.
What would you see in the Library of the Future?