Dear World, You Still Need Us. Love, Your Librarians
Thanks to guest author Quinn for the following post:
Ok, I admit it, before I decided to apply to a Masters program in Library Science I hadn’t been in a library since I left college and even when I was in college I only used the library as a quiet place to study. So I completely understand when people declare that libraries are becoming obsolete. However, now that I am in Information School, I am beginning to understand that Libraries are ubiquitous and the Librarians who run them might just (secretly) rule the world.
Sure. You can Google anybody and anything and probably find something about what you are looking for (do note that Google works with and employs Librarians). But, are you going to Google search research for your doctorate? Where are you going to go if you have no computer? Who is going to keep track of solid, well prepared information verses teen Johnny’s blog posts? And to whom do you turn when your search for “burning bush” comes back with the political career of George W. Bush?!?
One myth about libraries is that they are book repositories. There are special parts of the library that do just that—they’re called “Archives” and Archivist Librarians run them as well as many other projects. The side of Libraries excluded by the myth is actually all about keeping ALL of the information (yeah, that’s right, ALL of the information) hot and ready for anybody who wants it, whenever they want it. Doesn’t that sound just a little bit like internet searching? Doesn’t that sound like the best use for internet searching ever?
Most everyone (born before 1990) probably remembers an elementary school lesson in which students were given a book title out of the card catalogue and sent on their merry way to go find that title in the stacks (following the Dewey Decimal System of course) and they think that is what Libraries still are today. Some people are appalled that kids now can write research papers without using a single book, but, the thing is, all the stuff that was in books…it’s now online too…a Librarian probably helped put it there and a Librarian can probably help you find it. Don’t believe me? Go ask a Librarian—no, don’t get up—there is one waiting with an open chat window right now…waiting for your IM.
Yeah, that’s right. Libraries, and Librarians, are everywhere…
P.S. If you are still not sure where to go to find a Librarian try http://www.lib.umich.edu and look for the “Ask a Librarian” link under the “Help” heading.