Some thoughts from Building, Books, and Bytes:
As Bridget points out interestingly about youngsters at that time, I am wondering how they are doing now. Do they see themselves as immigrants to technology or natives to technology? I might be interesting to find out how this particular group reacts to and perceives differently comparing those days and today.
Also, I think there are two ideas that come confronting each other in this cycle related to libraries are (1) the concept of business corporate and competition with bookstores and (2) the concerns on digital information and communication technology. I think the article sounds too much worrisome about how libraries can survive, and it might be because of the article was written in 1997 when future was not so obvious. I am impressed with the fact in our field that “the library” remains not replaceable. I see newer and more attractive terms such as “media centers” and so on, but these cannot represent the whole idea or bring the complete feelings as “library”. I think we have had interesting discussions about the library far more than in a spatial sense, but the nature and interpretation of library as a social institution for social activities. I think users of digital technology weave their ways to make use of library information and facilities electronically while creating values about virtual community and network that are becoming more powerful these days. However, diversity among users bring several different preferences, and so we cannot put away printed materials –not now and in the near future.
So, the point is that I am wondering if the library is a source for producing human and cultural capitals to a community, and if it finally turns itself into one of the capitals that give power and strength to the community.
However, the D'Elia's article is something more formal, and I am trying to understand :)