chapter  7
9 Pages

What makes libraries special?

Quite apart from its "public" nature, one of the main difficulties of this study has been to define what a library is and what its purpose should be. This might sound strange, because there is a common understanding that libraries are about lending books. Most people know what a library is and know that to enter and inhabit that space involves a number of unspoken rules and assumptions. What is this "libraryness" factor, where does it come from, and what effect does the "libraryness" of libraries have on the way we think about their future?