John Palfrey

US law professor

John Palfrey (born 1972) is an American educator, scholar, and law professor.

John Palfrey in 2008



BiblioTech (2015)

BiblioTech: why libraries matter more than ever in the age of Google, Basic Books, 2015. ISBN 9780465042999
  • Libraries, as spaces, need to continue to inspire the public to dream big and to think great thoughts. Cities, towns, and academic communities of all shapes and sizes need the free, open public spaces that libraries–and only libraries–provide.
    • §3 p. 83
  • Librarians need to focus not on individual, physical libraries but on the larger networks–physical and digital–of which their libraries are part.
    • §6 p.140
  • To put things in perspective, recall that all the great libraries of antiquity–including the libraries of Alexandria and Pergamum–have disappeared completely. However, the world did not lose the knowledge they contained when they disappeared. Some of what was held in those libraries had been moved to other locations, either to be copied or because it was stolen. Even the fate of the libraries of antiquity shows that preservation relies not on the persistence of specific institutions, but on proper functioning of a system that includes redundancy and the sharing of knowledge across institutions. There is a great deal more progress to be made in this respect during this transition to the digital age, but the importance of doing so is unmistakable.
    • §8, p. 162
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