Sunday, May 8, 2011
As frustrated as I get with library budget cuts all around us, we are seeing a more and more vocal core of support in communities across the country. The following excerpt appeared in an editorial in the Houston Chronicle on March 31. If only the decision makers and majority of population of communities and schools realized what this editor defines.
The infoverse has exploded. Data still comes in book form - and in a bazillion other forms as well: among them, databases, online journals, architectural plans, maps, photos, microprints, CDs, DVDs, podcasts, posters, manuscripts, Tweets, [blogs,] musical scores, scripts, magazines, software and web sites.
Librarians make it possible to navigate the wilderness.
Handed a difficult question, a good librarian happily hacks through the data jungle, sorting the good info from the bad, and procuring exactly the answer you wanted.
But great librarians do something even better: They help you ask a sharper question, then find the answer you didn't know you needed.
Maybe printed books will largely disappear in the next decade. Even so, we'll still need libraries - because we'll need librarians.