Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Why Libraries Matter

Just came across this piece, "Are Librarians Totally Obsolete? 33 Reasons Why Libraries and Librarians are Still Extremely Important"

Writer Will Sherman compares the role of librarians to good web moderators: "the role of the moderator very much parallels the role of the librarian: to safeguard an environment in which knowledge can be accessed and ideas can be shared."

My favorite reason is Number 23: "The internet is a mess." I used to tell my students that the internet was like a library where someone threw all the books on the floor. (I couldn't remember where I stole that from so, of course I Googled it, and according to this site [Check section 8.12] lots of other people have stolen it too.)

Sherman talks a LOT about Google Book Search and doesn't even mention open access ("Number 3: The internet isn’t free" would have been an appropriate place.) Still for librarians and those of us who value them, it's worth a read.

For parents who know the book Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathman or the video performance, I can't get the idea out of my head of John Lithgow reading out the reasons in a sonorous voice ad infinitum. (In the story, Officer Buckle reads lists of safety rules....)

(Credit to j's scratchpad for leading me to the article.)

No comments: