- Away from Icebergs
- Into a new world of librarianship
- To more powerful ways to cooperate
- To better bibliographic services
- To a temporary place in time
Call me old fashioned but there's nothing like holding a real book in your hands. The heft of it, the musty smell of the paper, that's real. The face to face interaction with the librarians to help you find that long sought after treasure.
I'm also a visual person. If the photo on the cover or the script on the spine catches my eye, I'll likely pick up the book and read the liner notes. If that interests me then I'm taking it home with me. It's the same technique your local department store uses. If they can get you to touch an item, you are more likely to buy the item. I can still remember the awe I felt as a kid standing in the middle of my hometown library and being surrounded by rows and rows of books.
I know..in the current Internet driven, give it to me now world we live and work in that people don't want to go to a library and search for information. That takes time, gas and effort.
I also understand that you can find just about anything you need to know by doing a web search (I use Google quite often myself) and libraries need to move into the virtual world to survive. So libraries do need to push their products via downloads, social web sites and online interaction with patrons but I don't think librarians should become chat room hosts in the process. There is no replacement for the face to face human contact. Even a 3D virtual reality avatar.
Coincidentally, I'm in the middle of reading the The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde which is a satirical sci-fi mystery dealing with the virtual world and literature. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a light and enjoyable read.
One last point, how happy will the patrons be when the network servers crash or their wireless link won't connect or when the inevitable Microsoft bug pops up at it's randomly scheduled time.
HAL.......is that you?