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Richson: Libraries going nowhere

BY BRIANNE RICHSON | APRIL 18, 2013 5:00 AM

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Any student who regularly holes up in the Main Library is probably familiar with the construction that has been going on there for quite some time. This is an indication that, despite the rapid digitalization of books, libraries on college campus are not going anywhere.

In fact, current University Librarian Nancy Baker feels that librarians are relevant for students now more than ever.

“Our librarians spend more time than they ever did in the old days helping people find information,” she said.

The services libraries offer have become far more active than passive as the outlets for students to find information on become increasingly greater and more overwhelming in number.

Libraries have also become increasingly more relevant, compared with the past, as areas of socialization.

“People came in, and we told them to be quiet all the time, and you couldn’t have any food,” Baker said.

This has obviously changed for the better.

“It has shifted, in my opinion, to be much more user-focused,” Baker said.

Libraries have been a staple in our academic lives essentially since elementary school, when we learned about the Dewey Decimal System and how to navigate our way through shelves and shelves of books and how to take research notes in the tedious Cornell format. However, unlike the note-taking strategies and the irrelevant cursive we were forced to take them in, our knowledge of libraries is inevitably more useful now than ever.

Despite the fact that you can probably write a research paper without ever leaving your bedroom by accessing various online library databases, libraries will remain relevant so long as people know how to use them.

Additionally, because publishing companies would have to use a tremendous amount of resources to transition books from print to solely digital, university libraries will continue to buy many print books, despite the fact that long-term, books could become more so artifacts than anything.

If anything, libraries will stick around as centers of both interpersonal and academic connection.


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