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Waiting for the (digital) barbarians

Law, Derek (2009) Waiting for the (digital) barbarians. Information Outlook, 13 (8).

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Digital_Barbarians.doc

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Abstract

Constantine Cavafy's 1904 poem "Waiting for the Barbarians" provides a useful metaphor for where libraries now find themselves. Decked in our professional finery, we wait for the digital natives to arrive. The danger is that by waiting and not acting, we will, like Cavafy's senators, find that the barbarians never come, because they have passed us by as being irrelevant.