Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Yes! We are important

The American Association of School Libraries (AASL) blog posted a link earlier today to an article titled Are Librarians Totally Obsolete? or 33 Reasons Why Libraries and Librarians are Still Extremely Important. I am not familiar with the web site in question, Degree Tutor, but do appreciate the arguments presented. Among the valid reasons discussed are:
  • #4: The internet complements libraries, but it doesn’t replace them.
  • #9: Libraries aren’t just books.
  • #18: Eliminating libraries would cut short an important process of cultural evolution.
  • #20: Wisdom of crowds is untrustworthy, because of the tipping point.
  • #28: Libraries are stable while the web is transient
The article concludes:

"Society is not ready to abandon the library, and it probably won’t ever be. Libraries can adapt to social and technological changes, but they can’t be replaced. While libraries are distinct from the internet, librarians are the most suited professionals to guide scholars and citizens toward a better understanding of how to find valuable information online. Indeed, a lot of information is online. But a lot is still on paper. Instead of regarding libraries as obsolete, state and federal governments should increase funding for improved staffing and technology. Rather than lope blindly through the digital age, guided only by the corporate interests of web economics, society should foster a culture of guides and guideposts. Today, more than ever, libraries and librarians are extremely important for the preservation and improvement of our culture."

Interesting food for thought right before lunch.

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