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.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Slowing our patrons down

I thought this was an interesting paragraph from a recent ACRLog post:

For Abrams, it is all about the mystery. He says it “demands that you stop and consider - or at the very least, slow down and discover”. Isn’t that what library research is supposed to be about? You begin with a question to which the answer is unknown or uncertain. You don’t know how it’s going to end. Then you go through a process to collect the information needed to answer the question and resolve the mystery. Just like a good puzzle, in research you need to assemble the pieces correctly to discover the big picture. How do you communicate the natural enjoyment and challenge of the research process to a generation raised on the pursuit of spoilers and cheats? Taking the time to learn to research and then go through the discovery process, they must conclude, is for fools and suckers only.
This goes right along with some conversations we've been having in the library. I look forward to trying to think about practical steps we can take to make our library a place where the enjoyment, challenge, and pace of good research are all celebrated.

See also this ACRLog post on the new Kindle as a threat to libraries and possibly to the understanding of research espoused above. The "faster and easier" promise of technology involves trade offs that I think are rarely considered.


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