[tweetmeme source=”librarianbyday” only_single=false] Ian Clark writes on the need for libraries in the digital at gaurdian.co.uk
Libraries are a bridge between the information-rich and the information-poor. They need reinforcing, not dismantling. We need to continue to provide a highly skilled service that is able to meet the needs of the general public. The service ought to continue to innovate to take advantage of the way in which people are interacting with the service in a different way. It needs to continue to bridge the gap between those who have access to the internet and those who do not, while also ensuring it delivers on other aspects of its core service (book loans, local studies materials, etc). If the service is cut, we run the risk of an ill-informed society that is ill-equipped to prosper in the “information age” – a dangerous prospect for any democracy.
I could not agree with Ian more. Siting the plethora of information freely available online as a reason for the dismantling of libraries does not take into account the other issues related to accessing it: a computer, high-speed internet access, the skills to filter, navigate and evaluate what is found. Never mind that a great deal of information is not free.