I am working on Project CIRCE, looking at the feasibility of networking   
community information between library authorities, and one of the issues   
that comes up again and again is that of the changing nature of public   
library roles.

In terms of public information, a few people have said that they foresee   
a future for public libraries as facilitators and editors of information.   
 Libraries will not be able to develop information databases and create   
collections of printed materials, firstly because of lack of resources,   
and secondly because of the increasingly 'democratic' nature of   
information, where small providers can publish their own information on   
the Internet.

Libraries will have to take on new roles, editing, evaluating and   
providing access to other organisations' information databases, working   
within a community of information providers, working in partnership with   
many other organisations, possibly working well outside the traditional   
structures of the library service, in order to bring information and   
other services to those who need them most.

Is this a contentious statement, or do other people see things developing   
in this direction?

Please ignore any attachments which come with this email.

Helen Leech
CIRCE Project Officer
Gloucestershire Library HQ
Quayside House
Tel 01452 425361
Fax 01452 425042
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