Monday, April 14, 2008

Questions for Readings

"Libraries increasingly will be understood less in terms of their physical holdings than in terms of their services." (p. 11, Role of the Council of Library Resources)

"... the agenda for the start of the next century is almost entirely dominated by addressing the effects and implications of technological change." (p. 68, "From Automation to Transformation")

"Will (libraries) be needed when the raw materials with with they have traditionally dealt are no longer available in printed form but are all readily accessible, on demand, to anyone with a terminal and the ability to pay for their use?" (p. 356, "Whither Libraries? or, Wither Libraries")

"So labor was to blame -- in its decisions, its skill, and its cost in time and money for the poor reaction on the part of LIBRARY 21 visitors to the Univac computer." (p. 47, "The Librarian and the Univac")

"Finally, we come to the present ... In trying to come to grips with what is happening ... libraries need to be understood in the historical context within which they have been created and developed as outlined here ... to begin to know more fully what libraries are for and how they work." (p. 13, "A History of Computer Applications in Libraries.")

My questions for discussion are:

If that last statement were rephrased as a question -- what are libraries for and how do they work? -- did these readings help answer it? Did they set up or further a collections-vs.-service debate?

What kinds of effects do you think labor and cost considerations have had in automation and technological updates in libraries? Will have in the future? Did it surprise you that so few librarians were involved in the CLR projects?

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