Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Thing 7

Ok, a post about technology, any technology. (Does that mean I can write about the wheel?)

Last spring, I was visiting my family over Easter, and my brother, who is a self-proclaimed computer nerd, said to me, "Librarians will always need computers, but computer people will not always need librarians."

I took this to mean that he was of the growing percentage of people who believe that everything is online nowadays, and if you can't find it there, then it really isn't worth finding. I refrained from getting into the inevitable debate that NOT EVERYTHING IS ON GOOGLE! (only about 10%, actually, according to a study done by OCLC). Instead, I patiently pointed out his error in a different manner: that a good librarian should be knowledgeable enough with his/her collections that he/she can still provide the best of service, even when there are no computers around. He was impressed, but I think he still believes that everything worth finding is online.

So, are we good librarians whose level of service is dependent on our knowledge of our collection rather than our computer-saavyness, or have we, like the rest of the developed world, become too dependent on technology?

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