By Mark Y Herring

The electronic age has reworked info entry in ways in which few ever dreamed. however the afterclap of our electronic wonders has left libraries reeling as they're not the executive contender in details supply.

the writer provides either sides--the net aficionados, a few of them unhinged, and the conventional librarians, a few blinkered--a reasonable listening to yet misconceptions abound. net be-all and end-all fans aren't any extra priceless than librarians who urge fellow pros to be all issues to every person. the yankee Library organization, wildly democratic at its top and worst, seems schizophrenic at the factor, unhelpfully. "My attempt here," says the writer, "is to speak about the elephant within the room."

Are libraries out of date? No! concludes the writer (also). The publication explores how libraries and librarians needs to and positively can remain proper, shiny and enduring

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Extra info for Are libraries obsolete? : an argument for relevance in the digital age

Sample text

It’s a plausible argument, as far as it goes. Fact-checking, however, began to wane long before the web was up and running, so the web isn’t to blame completely for this loss. In any event, because the Internet makes searching easy and because we like to think it is without error, searching outside one’s intellectual comfort zone can create problems. The free text language of the web makes it a wonderful tool for searching various kinds of information. In some ways, online searching spoils us for using other search interfaces.

Of course, given our current state of K–12 education, even the so-called common factoid might become a pons asinorum for some. In at least one case, there may be evidence of bias on the part of Google News results. 15 Google declined comment on the story when it appeared. If true, this would add yet another layer of online searching imbroglios. Contrast all of this with what one might find in a good academic library. Not only will there be ample sources not yet on the web to consult (at least for the near term), but there will also be knowledgeable librarians on hand to assist in that process.

But to take it, even in all its glorious, chaotic, capricious topsy-turveydom, as a very good substitute for a library is simply nonsense. It is a fabulous tool, but it should not be the only tool, and we certainly should not grab it alone and throw away the toolbox. It helps enormously on some things, on others, much less so. In that way it is much like everything else in the world, including libraries. Libraries are wonderful repositories, but as we shall see in the third part of this book, they have their own inherent problems.

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