Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Librarians' Tasks Are Changing

(Source: Unknown.)

The sign above may be polarized on purpose, but it does prove a point. Quite a few, in fact.

When talking about information searches or the Internet, Google is ubiquitous. What is often forgotten, however, is that a fast search online, even a very good fast search, is not match to the analytical capabilities of the human brain. Nor is everything valuable digitized and available on the Internet; that will take decades and millions of dollars to achieve.

Google allows anyone with an Internet access to look up facts or other information. This is great: improved access and wider availability of information can only be a good thing. Complex searches, however, require a different strategy than just typing a few key terms into a search box. Librarians have provided that help for decades. Also, librarians assist people to evaluate or apply information, how to create documents or other media, how to describe and cite sources. Many libraries provide technology help as an integral part of their activities. The nature of librarianship is, therefore, moving away from simple fact-checking towards more detailed, more analytical, more time-consuming tasks like teaching, analysis, and preservation. Furthermore, many libraries - whether they be public, school or special libraries - collect and preserve unique local knowledge and resources. All of this happens with comparatively small investments.

When did you last thank your librarians for all of their hard work?

No comments: