Lost Librarian

This is a blog set-up to discuss topics relating to the web and libraries. LIS753-Internet Fundamentals and Design.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Googlization of Libraries

Last night I went to the Follet Lecture at Dominican. Professor Valauskos started the lecture with a fictional romp into the future where the Harold Washington Library was now the Harold Washington Homes, a housing development. Also the New York Public Library was a museum for the book. (This was in the year 2015) He then sped through a brief history of technology of today into the future. A lot of this was lost on me, I had trouble keeping up and therefore had trouble envisioning any of the future of technologies.
What did catch me was when he was discussing the avatar. How weird to think that instead of dealing with a person at the reference desk we may one day deal with a computerized version of that person while bopping along with our I-LIB (a version of the I-POD with a libraries complete catlogue on it). I just can't picture it, no matter how hard I try. Is it just me being stubborn? Or am I trying to hold on to the idea that people will always need other people? Sure all of what Professor Valauskos talked about sounded neat, maybe even a little interesting. I like that all of these new ideas are bringing us together in new ways, but I don't like that we are even discussing the idea that our libraries need to go away because of it. I'd like to end this with the same hope that Professor Valauskos did when he said, "Google is on our side, " but then I have to go and question why there are even sides at all.


At 11:01 AM, Blogger ashley said...

The future of the library, the future of the book, the future of librarians...a topic that we have been discussing since the intro class and I have to agree with you (and I think many others do too) that while all these new and emerging technologies are exciting and have the potential to connect us in new ways, it certainly is scary to think that they may replace us (librarians, books, etc.) in our libraries. However, since I first began thinking about this topic I have been sceptical to give in to the notion and haven't ever truly believed that we or our books will be replaced. Instead, I invision a relationship where librarians, books and technology co-exist. I also believe that we as librarians need to think positively and be pro-active in taking a large part in the ever changing library environment. People still rely on librarians for guidance and direction - especially those that haven't had the same educational opportunities that we have. People still need people.

I find it interesting that many businesses are now reverting back to and advertising the fact that when you call them you will actually reach a real, live person on the other end of the line rather than reaching an automated phone system. While automated phone systems certainly became the trend, we are now seeing a return to a human voice on the other end. I think this says something about technology in general. While it can be an amazing thing, people want options. They want to be able to choose between talking to a person who can assist them or using technology (in whatever kind of format) to do the same thing. I do believe that we will continue to see a rise in the presence of technology in libraries, but I do not thing that it will ever mean the absolute end of the book and the need for libraries - at least I hope not. And, I do agree with you in that I don't there there should be "sides." We should be working together to expand and assist in the ease of access.

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