Friday, March 7, 2008

Bloglines - Here’s proof we need to formulate a critical need for libraries in the Internet Era

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The Monkey Speaks
The monkey (Walter Minkel) speaks his mind on libraries & young people

Here's proof we need to formulate a critical need for libraries in the Internet Era

By the Monkey on Future of libraries

Children and LibrariesWhoa. No sooner had I posted the story below on the Marathon County Public Library and our urgent need to explain better to the general public why librarians need graduate degrees in the era of the Internet, than my wife forwarded me this article from the Gainesville (FL) Sun, an opinion piece called "Pull the plug on the library." It's by a library-hating fellow named George Elmore.

Elmore says that libraries have outlived their usefulness in the Internet Era; he wants to shut them down, whether they have professional librarians in them or not. Here's a brief quote:

Historically the public library has been a valued research institution, and has served that purpose admirably. But no more. With the advent of the Internet and Google, virtually no serious research is carried on in the library stacks.

He calls his local Alachua County Library District "Alachua County's version of Terri Schiavo, and life support is costing us nearly $20 million each year."

I've heard lots of folks, particularly those who aren't library users, say similar things about libraries, and I'm concerned that their numbers are growing. We had better get busy formulating better explanations of what we do post-Google, and why we do it.


1 comment:

Hob said...

We had the same arguments in favor of closing the Jackson County Library System (Medford, Oregon). *Slightly* less vitriolic, a bit more apologetic (like, "Of course we love the library, but... let's get rid of it"). At least the voters made a historic effort to get out and vote; too bad it was against the libraries.

Still, as long as we're b!tching about taxes, can someone please tell me why we need to pay for so many roads and streets in urban areas? Like, I hardly drive down any of them, so why should I have to pay for them? I just can't shelling out my hard-earned bucks for those Dept of Transportation fat-cats...