Social Networking and Libraries

In our posting for this week, Diane talks about libraries and and the online world, noting that some areas of society definitely think that “… it might seem as though librarians are going to become obsolete.”  She assures us that she does not believe the statement “for one second!” — I am not so sure.

There are a number of forces that are creating issues for libraries.  Newspapers and the like have come to realize that they have information, but the old methods of delivery and the generalist model they use simply is not translating terribly well into the new technology world.

At a conference about 6 years ago, I had as a guest speaker the VP of new product development from Rogers — in front of a group of newspaper people, he basically (in a simplified form) said that his company was looking to take over providing information.  Seeing the convergence of so many media types these days, I suggest that he wasn’t too far wrong.

I would suggest that this is a real battle that is going on.  In my view, libraries need to be early adopters of technological changes in order to remain relevant, which I hope to explore more as this course progresses.

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1 Response to Social Networking and Libraries

  1. Diane says:

    This is all certainly true, Rob. There are parts of what librarians do that I don’t think can be replicated. The community aspect of public and university libraries, for example, is a major factor. Even if librarians’ roles change, I don’t think they will disappear. (Finding things online effectively is still a major problem; somebody needs to work on that!)

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