When I first saw this blog entry (Academic Library Autopsy Report, 2050), I fell out of my chair laughing. . .yes, gallows humor again. It’s hilarious read, even as it chronicles the passing of libraries…technology departments won’t be far behind. It’s obvious that the article hits upon several key points, many of which can be cited when reading The User-Driven Purchase Giveaway at Educause.
Reading the Educause article, it only seems natural that libraries be struck dead:
- Libraries were viable when paper reigned supreme; digital copies of everything make them unnecessary.
- The predominance of eReaders of all sorts make books unnecessary hindrance, filling up space that need no longer be so…and you can imagine the Amazon Rainforest is breathing a sigh of relief!
- Librarians are caretakers for a system made obsolete by technology.
- Producing a book digitally costs less than printing it…and makes the
That’s not to say that librarians aren’t wonderful people…only that as technology gets easy enough for anyone to use, the vaunted skills of information literacy are no longer the province of a teacher-librarian…but of everyone.
View a highlighted version of “Academic Library Autopsy Report, 2050 – Commentary – The Chronicle of Higher Education” at http://awurl.com/MZvBMBowi
Just the highlights:
- Academic Library Autopsy Report, 2050 By Brian T. Sullivan
- The academic library died alone, largely neglected and forgotten by a world that once revered it as the heart of the university.
- Causes of death:
- Fully digitized collections of nearly every book in the world rendered physical book collections unnecessary
- As databases became more intuitive and simpler to use, library instruction in the use of archaic tools was no longer needed.
- It was the persistence of librarians, who in the academic library’s dying days lost faith in their ability to impart useful knowledge to students, that led to the universal adoption of campuswide information-literacy standards
- Libraries and librarians were subsumed by information-technology departments.
- Reference services were replaced by ever-improving search engines and social-networking tools, while queries could be answered by low-wage employees (including student workers) with minimal training.
- Economics trumped quality.
- Ever since it became so easy and inexpensive to find adequate resources, paying significantly more for the absolute best was no longer an option for perpetually cash-strapped