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The world is our lobster: Rethinking traditional attitudes

Derek Law (Department of Computing Science, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Article publication date: 6 May 2014




The purpose of this article is to explore the changing skill sets, operating environments and community engagement activities which can create a robust and valued future for libraries and librarians. It is easy to paint a doom-laden picture of the future of libraries against a background of library cuts, professional deskilling and the relentless advance of ever more powerful digital information systems. However, these self-same threats offer new challenges for information management.


Personal view of the future based on current literature.


It is better to seek forgiveness than permission. Seize the day.

Research limitations/implications

Just one point of view among many.

Practical implications

Librarians need to act.

Social implications

The library can remain core to civilised societies.


Others must judge that.



Law, D. (2014), "The world is our lobster: Rethinking traditional attitudes", New Library World, Vol. 115 No. 5/6, pp. 200-210.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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