Friday, May 6, 2011

"The Hybrid Library"

"Society’s increasing reflexivity is a challenge, not least for the public library. The Enlightenment project is based on the fact that armed with our sensibility we move higher and higher up the ladder of development, whereas the reflexive society cannot give us the recipe for what truth is. The universal truism has given way to the realisation that everything might be diff erent. Not even art, which in modernity was considered the very peak of cognition, is today able to create a common horizon, but tends rather to become a reflectory workshop or a laboratory for new forms of selfknowledge. Here it becomes a tool for development of self-identity, because the self, too, has turned into a reflexive project combining personal and social change.

The public library has,as an institution, been hit by this reflexivity in concrete demands for readjustment and change. It manifests itself in the idea of the hybrid library which is a reflection of an amalgamation of the virtual and the real library and of the many new hybrids between libraries, cultural centres, museums and knowledge centres.

The very concept ‘library’ can in the reflexive society be described as a competence centre within the field of culture and knowledge, rather than as the publicly available organised collection of books from which it has originated."