What if…

Robert Stadler’s question mark installation in Paris
Image by Dom Dada on Flickr

You didn’t need a library card to use a library. How would that affect the library? Would it increase use? Would it be easier to use the library? More difficult? How would individual libraries/systems verify identity.

I guess the ‘card’ could be linked to a drivers license or other form of ID. When you get an ID/license you are automatically registered for library access. You would just need to activate it at a library. Or not. You could go online to register with the nearest library. Or it could be as simple as establishing a user name and password.

How would it work for kids? Would they have to be liked to their parent’s cards?

What if there was a universal library card? It could be used at any library. Maybe not physical items like books. Electronic items though… It could be used to access databases or eBooks or simply use a computer when traveling.

How would that work? How would verification to electronic resources work? Could it be run through an organization like OCLC? There would have to be cooperation among many different parties. Local, state and regional libraries would have to pool resources an negotiate new and completely different types of contracts with vendors. I don’t know how it would work. I’m just wondering.


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