Librarians in Trouble

Thinking ahead

Librarians in troubles- Day2 Latina Lessons

with 2 comments

Google’s vision statement reads:   “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” ref. So I am wondering now, as a librarian that I am (or I suppose 🙂  it is our job…not? I can remember that it is the same idea that I have  since I started my studies in Library and Information Science. I have been thinking that is not possible do it perfectly because allways you have something to improve or something to add in a reference service, in a library or an information resource. Neverthless we have been triying to improve in all the senses, sometimes better than others. But…one point  is changing quickly!! The librarians have been bussy working with the new cataloging tools, the online cataloge, the more advanced database, new formats, new medias, etc, and suddenly all the new digital world is becoming so far away from the traditional libraries. As a very technological enemy that pretend move on the librarians to become them in a part of the past. Why do I think so? because one company like Google, is necessary remember that is not any company is one of the biggest in the world, wants to do the same that we have been doing for centuries!! Google wants to be the guardian of the knowledge. And the most important is that he has a power that the traditional libraries do not have. Google has the users.

Every time a person look for information using a google’s search is a time that he does not go to his library. Perhaps not all the times, but many of them. For example. I am sure that if you need information about a country, because you are planning travel there, you are not going  to take a look in your library to find a guide there. My town’s library has many guides but I prefer find the information in internet, using a google’s search!! So Google has the users and I am the first one. I think the libraries as institutions must change their roles.

And I have one question to answer: How the library as an institution may respond to this challenge? I think is difficult to answer it but I can say, in my point of view, that the library role must change, the same as the librarians, the library must be changed according to the new age. If the age is the digital age the library must be digital. If the users use the social network the library must use the same digital place. The library must be with the users and their necessities. Many ideas are confluencing now respecting to that point. I like the idea from the Library 2.0 where the library share their knowledge openly with the users in a social and digital environment.

Librarians we need adjustments or we are going to die!!

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Written by claesju

February 3, 2009 at 2:02 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Thanks for a comprehensive entry! I believe you are posing the right questions. The library must indeed “be with their users” in their factual situations. It is akin to the comment on one slide show that we looked at on Monday: To build communities one must identify and relate to the interests of the participants there. Now, – things may be complicated a bit, since “interests” are also evolving over time and across user groups.

    In the course material (for Monday which we did not have time to look at) you find material from several investigations into new developments among youngsters. There is an interview and short comments. See http://pedit.hio.no/~latina/wordpress/?page_id=589 Maybe some of these observations might indicate some of the challenges for the library as well?

    Helge

    February 3, 2009 at 7:14 pm

  2. I enjoyed your comment!

    One way of approaching this issue is to study what students actually do when they need information for a paper or an essay. You describe your own behavior – and this corresponds to my own experience.

    In the past I used libraries a lot – now I seldom need them. Since I find lots of interesting documents on the web, I read fewer books than before – which means I can buy them rather than borrow them. Libraries are still useful for some periodicals – but more and more good stuff is available on the web.

    Recently, several large empirical studies of information seeking and web use have been published. The most famous one is probably this (you may have read it, for all I know):

    http://www.bl.uk/news/2008/pressrelease20080116.html

    This American study is exciting:

    http://pliny.wordpress.com/2008/12/27/pl-6408/

    plinius

    February 3, 2009 at 8:28 pm


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