A new look for libraries?

Books in Library
New Library Technologies Dispense With Librarians

An article caught my eye from the Wall Street Journal (this article currently free to access but may disappear behind subscription firewall). A library in St PAul, Minnesota, USA, has been replaced with a “Library Express” – you order the book you want and it is delivered to a digitally locked, glove-compartment- sized metal locker a few days later. I read recently that 26 of my local libraries here in Nottingham are having their weekly hours reduced to between 5 and 9 (because of the spending cuts). Perhaps it’s just me who thinks that it becomes a bit pointless at that stage having a stock of books that are inaccessible for 97% of the time. How soon before they turn into “Library Express” here too? And goodbye to a genuine community-based service, physically browsing books, and jobs for librarians.