Information and the Future

This is the blog of the Information and the Future task force of the Rolfing Library at Trinity International University. The IF task force exists to explore the role of libraries in the future of Christian higher education.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Born Digital's view of librarians

I'm reading the book Born Digital by Palfrey and Gasser right now. The introduction had a line about librarians:
"Librarians, too, are reimagining their role: Instead of primarily organizing book titles in musty card catalogs and shelving the books in the stacks, they serve as guides to an increasingly variegated information environment."

When I first started reading, I was wincing at the depiction of librarians, but I thought he ended with a pretty good description of the direction we see ourselves going. Later on he also mentioned that they used research done by librarians and talked to librarians about the issues surrounding "Digital Natives."


  • At 9:44 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    So what do you envision serving as guides to look like? What do we do to do to be effective in that role? What obstacles do we face?

  • At 6:33 PM, Blogger Rebecca said…

    That is the big question! At this point, I think it's through doing instruction for people and designing/maintaining web tools to give people access to this information.

    But I wonder if that also will change in the future? Will Google become a good enough access point for scholarly information that it will take our place in being that access point? And will these tools be simple enough to use that people won't need instruction on how to use them? There may still be a role for teaching students how to evaluate information. (Although if tools like Google Scholar do some of that evaluation, perhaps even that won't be as necessary?) It will be interesting to see what develops in the future and what our roles will become. I think it is important for us to be flexible and able to work with the coming changes, whatever they are.


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