Saturday, May 26, 2007

Going Virtual: Technology & the Future of Academic Libraries

Going Virtual: Technology & the Future of Academic Libraries

John Hubbard | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee | May 16, 2007

Library Council of Southeastern Wisconsin Annual Conference

It is, almost paradoxically, the most difficult time in history to be a librarian, let alone do library research, because of the exponential growth in informationtechnology.

But there are ways, of course, which we can use technology to our and our users’ benefit, namely with the implementation of virtual collections, finding tools like federated search engines, and especially virtual services, such as online reference.
[snip]
We’re not yet ready to replace the reference desk with virtual reference. However, more and more people are doing things online nowadays.
[snip]
If you build it… they’re already there
[snip]
We’re hardly the ones being innovate here when it comes to developing an online library presence.
[snip]
An EDUCAUSE study has shown that IM beats out the library in terms of market penetration.
[snip]
There are a variety of psycho-social factors in place – maybe the online disinhibition effect alleviates their fear of reference – making virtual reference some users’ preferred contact method.
[snip]
As we switch from information gatekeeper to service provider, offering virtual reference services are essential to the survival of our profession and libraries in general.
[snip]
The dot-com boom back and it’s name is Web 2.0.
[snip]
Virtual reference services are the final front against the commercialization of traditional library functions.
[snip]
“We’ve Always Done It This Way.”
Technological innovations necessitate service & staffing changes
Let’s talk about the dreaded “C” word: CHANGE.
[snip]
“The telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” (Western Union memo, 1876)

Source
[http://www.mcfls.org/librarycouncil/lcacademic.pdf]

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