Living In A Digital World

from the and-I'm-a-digital-girl? dept

Don't blame it on the kids, because it looks like more and more people are starting to prefer searching for digital information to browsing library stacks. As search engines increase their cataloging of the "deep web", professors and students alike are shunning cavernous library halls to look for their research materials online, and librarians are catching on to the trend. No one is predicting the end of books or paper. (That would be silly.) But no one can dispute that digitally searching for specific information is often faster and easier than doing it the old-fashioned way. The challenge is preserving the benefits of the older methods while still fully capturing the more modern advantages. For instance, search engines don't lend themselves to the same sort of serendipitous discoveries as flipping through books or magazines. So let's hope librarians can figure out ways to make information retrieval more fun and digital.
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  • identicon
    Simon Chamberlain, 21 Jun 2004 @ 3:31pm

    No Subject Given

    Well, a few people are predicting the end of books (see the recent comments from the President of Drexel University: http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA426274?display=breakingNews).

    The main problem with the NY Times article is that it sets up a dichotomy between books and the free web, and assumes that all libraries have to offer is books. Whereas pretty much all libraries offer access to huge amounts of information in electronic form, information which isn't available on the free web but through subscription databases. I'm a library science student, and I hardly ever go to the library but I use it every day - I dial in to subscription databases via the library's website.

    It's by selecting, arranging, and providing access to this sort of material that libraries will remain relevant.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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