The Future of Reading: The Importance of Preserving Hybrid Collections in the Digital Age
Durant, David M.
As e-books continue to grow in popularity and usage, it appears quite possible that they will one day not just supplement but outright replace print books. A growing body of evidence, however, suggests that reading off a screen is not the same as reading off a printed page. Print reading fosters greater concentration and the ability to think in deep, conceptual terms. Digital reading is more like a form of power browsing. Allowing print books to disappear or to become the province of a small elite could well have major social consequences. To counter this potential future, libraries should commit themselves to maintaining hybrid collections of both print and digital materials.