Surviving the Flood: Antediluvian Libraries and the Ark


  • Derek Law


The paper gives a broad historical overview of the development of library automation and then assesses the impact of the Internet on libraries. It asserts that the profession has not always been adept at understanding the impact of changes although frequent early adopters of technology. It concludes that librarians need to step back and develop a new philosophy which understands how new applications are changing users’ lives and how libraries need to respond to ensure their continuing relevance.

Author Biography

Derek Law

law.jpg Emeritus Professor Derek Law, MA, DUniv, FCLIP, FIInfSc, FKC, FLA, FRSE, has worked in several British universities and published and spoken at conferences extensively. He is a regular project evaluator for the EU. Most of his work has been to do with the development of networked resources in higher education and with the creation of national information policy. Recently he has worked on the use of wireless technology in developing new methods of teaching and learning. This has been combined with an active professional life in professional organisations related to librarianship and computing. A committed internationalist, he has been involved in projects and research in over forty countries. He was awarded the Barnard prize for contributions to Medical Informatics in 1993, Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1999, an honorary degree by the Sorbonne in 2000, the IFLA medal in 2003, Honorary Fellowship of CILIP in 2004 and was an OCLC Distinguished Scholar in 2006.


How to Cite

Law, D. (2011). Surviving the Flood: Antediluvian Libraries and the Ark. Uncommon Culture, 2(1), 15–23. Retrieved from