(NEW YORK) The library of the future may look more like a combination bike rack and locker room than the marble-floored, musty-smelling buildings full of stacks and oak card catalogues found in small towns and cities across the country.
The Wall Street Journal says the "Library Express" in Hugo, Minnesota is essentially a stack of metal lockers outside city hall. When you want a book or DVD, you order it online and retrieve it from a digitally-locked cubby a few days later. It's a little like the red boxes in supermarkets where you can rent movies.
Its convenient and more in line with the new digital way of doing business in so many aspects of life. Library afficionadoes worry, though, that it will remove the human element. Reference librarians, library directors and even "the story lady" could become a thing of the past, as distant as those marble floors and hushed aisles between stacks of books just waiting for you to dive into.
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