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The Library Beyond the Book

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  61 ratings  ·  16 reviews
With textbook readers and digital downloads proliferating, it is easy to imagine a time when printed books will vanish. Such forecasts miss the mark, argue Jeffrey Schnapp and Matthew Battles. Future bookshelves will not be wholly virtual, and libraries will thrive--although in a variety of new social, cultural, and architectural forms. Schnapp and Battles combine deep stu ...more
Paperback, 166 pages
Published July 7th 2014 by Harvard University Press (first published June 2nd 2014)
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Average rating 3.38  · 
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 ·  61 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Emma Sea
Sep 08, 2015 marked it as dnf
quit on page 46: Schnapp's writing style grated like chewing aluminum foil
Aug 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Four stars simply because of the pedantic tone the authors took. I mean, other than for the purpose of passing the GRE, why should anyone type the word "salubrious" in the context of anything? Maybe that's slightly overly critical, but it did color the anti-elitist tone of the ideas of this lovely book a terrible shade of, well, elitism. Other reviewers seem to share this opinion.
Josh Gunter
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: libraries
Although the language can be dense at times, the book offers a look at some quirky and crazy ideas for making libraries more relevant for modern times. I thoroughly enjoyed this exercise in speculation.
Jul 02, 2014 rated it liked it
I thought this book was okay. It offered some interesting and thought provoking questions and ideas about libraries. When I first picked it up I did not think it was going to refer to the Harvard library so much, but having later seen that both authors are affiliated with the school / library, it makes sense.
Dec 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
No offense meant, but any important message that this book conveyed was hidden by the dense academic language designed to dazzle. I was also underwhelmed by the information imparted as it has been presented by others in less ambiguous language....
Kirsten T
3.5 stars. Don't be fooled by the comic introduction: this is an academic text.
Cristel Verhaegen
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Toen ik de titel las, dacht ik alle weer een lofzang op de e-library. Maar dat is het helemaal niet. Schnapp is een cultuurhistoricus en komt niet uit de bibliotheekwereld. Misschien net daarom komt hij doorheen een schets van wat bibliotheken doorheen de geschiedenis voor rol gespeeld hebben tot een zeer genuanceerd en zelfs positief beeld van haar toekomst en van de belangrijke rol dat bibliotheekpersoneel daarin zal spelen.
Keilah Coverstone
Dec 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Lots of great information about historical libraries and the future of libraries. However, it was so dense, it felt like I was reading a doctoral thesis. This made a lot of important points hard to understand.

Another school/library pleasure book and yup I was able to also use this one in a paper for class LOL-- but also got something from it as they discuss in great detail the library beyond the book, the different structures and functions of storing information whether physical or electronic. For such a slight book with a mere 141 pages there was tons of words and was very densely written with very formal language that made it not a readable book on its face but a great reference source so it did t
Oct 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Firstly, I should point out what a lovely little creation this book is: solid but simple design, pleasing color scheme, and a nice heft due to good paper stock. The aesthetics continue into the content, which begins with a brief but entertaining comic of time-traveling Melvil Dewey, and continues with colored vertical idea sidebars before concluding in a photo essay of the Harvard Depository (which, frankly, looks as if it needs a good ghost).

The text is equally thoughtful, if a bit, um, academi
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, library
Read this for work, it was recommended to our library director and she decided we (the library staff) would read it together and discuss. I had high-ish hopes. It looked pretty good. I like books that mesh mediums and do interesting things with marginalia.

All hopes were dashed.

Literally no one liked it. We all had a lot of problems with the idea presented and I found a lot of the marginalia annoying because half of it contained recommendations of things that already exist like it was new informa
Although it has the same rating, I don't think it's quite as good as "Library: An Unquiet History." It's a little dense and academic at times- I'm not sure the average non-library professional would enjoy it.

However, I thought it was great. I loved the little thoughts on the sides of the pages in red. Some I wanted to implement yesterday. Others I thought were at odds with the profession's commitment to privacy. All were worth reading.

It's a visual book, and a playful one (despite the jargon).
Extremely dense and inspiring book. It discusses the way library spaces have been used in the past, and the way they are being developed now. There are a lot of cool ideas. The book is both grounded and whimsical; it was a joy to read.

Definitely worth a read if you're at all interested in the directions of libraries.
Mackenzie Brooks
Jul 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: work
I liked the ideas more than the tone. A fair bit of the things they suggest are already a reality, either at big places like Harvard or little places like the Read/Write Library and probably others in between. This is an essential book for people who have a hard time with change, there's a lot of putting modern libraries in context.
Mary Jean Phillips
Nov 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A hopeful and ingenious inspiration.
Jen Johnson
Jul 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
I *really* wanted to like this. Neat presentation, theoretical discussions, all the stuff I normally like. Just couldn't get in to it!
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