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Libraries = obsolete??

Oct - 5 - 2006
Nicole C. Engard

I finally had some time to catch up on my podcast listening (still have 2 and half to listen to) and was pointed by Marv to this article in the Lawrence Journal-World. The article entitled Libraries are limited, obsolete is written by a self-proclaimed educator – who obviously missed an important bit of education himself. Mark Hirschey a professor at the University of Kansas – School of Business says:

Libraries are inefficient. Like me, kids seek fast, convenient access to up-to-date information. That's available on the Internet. In this new information age, libraries are an obsolete place to store and disseminate information. Rather than speed access to reliable, up-to-date information, libraries provide only remote, slow and inconvenient access to limited and often outdated information.

He goes on to say:

Multiple information providers on the Internet make fact checking easy and reliable. No single person, such as a librarian, can or should be relied upon to verify accuracy.

I would like to point Mr. Hirschey to the Johns Hopkins tragedy (something I’ve written about before – and am discussing in one of my classes right now). Then I’d ask him if he’d like to participate – no – if he’d like his kids to participate in a medical study in a world where doctors only have the resources on the Internet to check their facts & research??

I am so flustered that I have hit delete and backspace about 50 times already – I don’t know what to say to this man – or people like him – except that we as librarians need to get out there and educate the public!! I have a journal entry that I wrote for one of classes this week that I will share with you all once the week is over (I want to wait for everyone to have submitted their assignments without being influenced by what I had to say) in which I state this very thing!!!

2 Responses so far.

  1. Katrina says:

    I would like to add comment/quotation to that

    “The irony of the Information Age is that it has given new respectability to uninformed opinion.”
    John Lawton, speaking to the American Association of Broadcast Journalists in 1995

  2. [...] [quick intro - this is for my Professional/Social Aspects of Information Services course - the bolded headings are provided for us and then we fill in the info below. I will post these for all to read after they are graded each week - because they’re the kinds of things I would normally write here. This week I got a 3 out of 3 This is also the journal I mentioned was coming when I posted last week.] [...]


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