Welcome to the Post-Literate Future

Reading and writing are doomed.

Literacy as we know it is over.

Welcome to the post-literate future.

No – it’s not April 1st.  Beyond Literacy: Exploring a Post-Literate Future is the name of a new freely accessible e-book published by the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) and the Ontario Library Association.  The site provides opportunities for readers to comment and contribute to what will undoubtedly be a vigorous and passionate conversation about whether reading and writing as we know them are really disappearing.  What will replace them?  What is already replacing them?

Do you read?  Do you write?  Is texting writing (by the way-the WordPress spell checker thinks texting is a spelling error).  If we no longer use reading and writing as the most common way we communicate, we do/will we use?  Is spoken language a kind of literacy?  Lots of questions.

I don’t have many answers.  It is hard for me to conjure up the image of a world without reading and writing.  I still send letters through the mail.  I always read something before I turn out the light before going to sleep.  And the author isn’t claiming to have all the answers either.  But the questions are provocative and worth thinking about.

What do you think?  Will traditional reading and writing eventually disappear?  In what ways are reading and writing important to you (or not)?  What will a post-literate society look like?  Join the dialog.

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