Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hello friends,
This blog has been inconspicuous lately, I know- I'm sorry. I am still here, and I promise to post when I can, but I am insurmountably buried by life, grad school, and work- in that order. I started my first semester of graduate school and I'm not going to lie to you- it's expensive, I'm intimidated, and I am buried in school work. But I am also excited, unstoppable, and on my way...I am going to kick the arse of grad school and I am going to find my place in this profession. I promise.
In the meantime, I have a million things to talk about here and no time to do it. I promise to try and tell you all about it when I can. For now, here is a link to an amazing article about libraries in our changing society- 'The Bookless Library' written by David A. Bell for The New Republic. For those of you with no time to read it (I understand) here are a few of my favorite parts:

This part makes me nauseous; it is one scenario the author runs through as our society and economy changes. (Please vote, regardless of your political affiliation, please take an interest in how our country is run):

"One nightmare scenario is all too easy to imagine. The year is 2033, and the Third Great Recession has just struck. Although voters have finally turned the Tea Party out of office in Washington, the financial situation remains dire across the country. New York City in particular faces skyrocketing deficits as a result of the most recent Wall Street wipeout, and the bankruptcy of Goldman Chase. In City Hall, a newly elected mayor casts a covetous glance at the grand main branch of the New York Public Library. Think how much money the city could save by selling it, along with the thirty remaining branch libraries scattered throughout the five boroughs. After strenuous negotiations, the mayor announces a deal with Googlezon, under which the company will make fifty electronic copies of any book in its database available at any one time to city residents, for two-week free rentals on the reading device of their choice. Two years later, where the main branch library once stood, the mayor proudly cuts the ribbon at the opening of the Bryant Park Mall. As for the services once performed by actual librarians, these have now been replaced by a cloud software package, with customer service representatives standing by online in case of technical difficulties (most of them physically located in suburban Manila)."

This part makes me happy, and makes me eager to find my place in the library world:

"Libraries are also sources of crucial expertise. Librarians do not just maintain physical collections of books. Among other things, they guide readers, maintain catalogues, develop access portals for electronic sources, organize special programs and exhibitions, oversee special collections, and make acquisition decisions. The fact that more and more acquisition decisions now involve a question of which databases to subscribe to, rather than which physical books and journals to buy, does not make these functions any less important. To the contrary: the digital landscape is wild and wooly, and it is crucial to have well-trained, well-informed librarians on hand to figure out which content to spend scarce subscription dollars on, and how to guide readers through it."

The rest of the article is yours to read, or not read- whatever strikes your fancy, but I suggest reading it and would love to discuss it with you. Until next time faithful readers...adios!

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