Prospects for the book in the 21st century

Spherical clay envelope with 8 small clay tokens.

Globular envelope with a cluster of accountancy tokens, Uruk period, from Susa. The Louvre. Photo: Marie-Lan Nguyen, Wikimedia Commons

Do you find yourself getting a little out of sorts when yet another person asks you about the future of the book? If so, Gary Frost and I have just the remedy for you!

Gary is Emeritus Conservator at the University of Iowa Libraries, and the two of us have put together a workshop that addresses the persistent question of why and how the physical book will survive into the new century: Prospects for the Book in the 21st Century, at the Ames Public Library on Monday, April 20 from 2:00 – 3:30.

I’m sending this announcement to a range of library colleagues across the state. Some of you are close to Ames, some a bit further away. If you can manage to be in the neighborhood, please join us for a thought-provoking conversation on a life-or-death topic: in what form(s) will the “book” survive?

Registration is not required, but if you plan on attending please drop me a line, so we have an idea of how many cookies to frost…

Hope to see you soon! ~Roy

Prospects for the Book in the 21st Century

Ames Public Library, Danfoss Room
April 20, 2:00 – 3:30 PM

The future of the book is feral―familiar but adaptive. Now only one of many media, the book has been set free to realize its native potentials.

Join us to discover the changing book in the new century. Two brief presentations on the cognitive and cultural functions of the book as artifact will be followed by an evocative hands-on exploration of all kinds of new books and old books; from the papyrus codex of late Antiquity to the hand held devices of today.

The presenters are experienced commentators on the future of the book. Gary Frost is a book conservator working to preserve the future of books. Roy Kenagy is a consultant whose primary focus is public library collections and services.

Photo: Globular envelope from Sumer, c. 4,000 – 3,200 B.C.E. Artifacts like these are considered the first examples of “books” in western civilization.