I haven’t been to ECDX, and being the broke bunny I am, I am not going this year either. But! I do have this post of tips from You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me Loose Wheel to share with any of you going! Live. Learn. Love. And if you weren’t planning on going but you can make it, here are some reasons to go!
Because of the barring of the state rep in Michigan yesterday, I will be saying “Vagina” between each paragraph. VAGINA!!
Okay, I’m starting a new thing this week: Library Fridays. Part of the reason I’m doing this is because talking about libraries and archives, and librarians and archivists is a good excuse to read all sorts of fun articles that aren’t about getting jobs using my MLS. Another part is that I had a discussion with a friend the other day and I want to educate everyone on what it is I spent 60 grand to learn to do. Plus, this means I get to talk about the things I do, and want to do! So. Library Friday!
Okay, so the other day a friend of mine asked facebook “In a world with the internet, do we still need libraries?” Naturally, I am biased, since I just spent three years in school to become a librarian. But here is what I said (edited to flow better, since it’s from multiple comments):
Yes. The Internet doesn’t discriminate between good information and bad and not everyone has access to it anyway. Internet access costs money, which not everyone is willing or able to spend on not-food-rent-medicine things, for one thing. Libraries offer free access to books, ebooks, audiobooks, free DVDs, music, deep web access (databases behind paywalls, like proquest and lexis-nexis–and often libraries will have on-site access to more databases than are available through their portals when accessed off-site, for budgetary reasons) and people to help you find what you need and teach you how to find what you’re looking for, as well as other services, like teaching people how to use e-readers, write resumes, use computer programs like MS Office. Additionally, libraries as physical places serve the community both as a place to access the internet and computers (which, again, not everyone has) as well as all that other stuff. They offer community meeting places. They teach skills. They offer a safe place for kids to go after school when their parents aren’t home until later in the evening. Librarians cultivate reference collections based on accuracy of information, which the internet as a whole does not do. Libraries maintain copies of materials that are not widely available, and cooperate with other institutions in order to make them available to people who want/need them. And speaking as a money-challenged lover of reading, if I didn’t have a library, I would be miserable.
My friend got tired of arguing with me, but this is what it boils down to: they may not, in the future, be exactly what they are now, but they will still be needed. We’ve had the Internet in our homes since the early 90s, and it’s been widely available for the past 10 years, but libraries still exist and are still useful.