Listen: 19:16

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Some might assume that libraries and museums have outlived their purpose. When every book and archive can be recreated and reinterpreted digitally to create an incredible user experience, how is the physical and human infrastructure of the institution still necessary?

It’s a challenging question, but libraries and museums aren’t finding themselves replaced by the internet, as the cynical might assume. In fact, their roles as curators and archivists are becoming more important than ever.

Susan Hildreth is the director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services which serves the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums.

Susan recently got on the phone with Harvard Library Innovation Lab’s very own David Weinberger to talk about the role these brick and mortar institutions play in the digital age.

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Creative Commons music courtesy of Brad Sucks and photos courtesy of spaetz.