International and Comparative Librarianship

S. R. Ranganathan, P. N. Kaula, R. N. Sharma, J. F. Harvey, D. J. Foskett, J. P. Danton, M. M. Jackson, etc.
This Blogosphere has a slant towards India [a.k.a Indica, Indo, South-Asian, Oriental, Bharat, Hindustan, Asian-Indian (not American Indian)].

Friday, December 01, 2006

Disconnects Between Library Culture and Millennial Generation Values

Disconnects Between Library Culture and Millennial Generation Values
Libraries must consider changes in both policy and technology to remain
relevant to the next generation of students, By Robert H. McDonald and Chuck Thomas, EDUCAUSE QUARTERLY • Number 4 2006

Perhaps libraries need to revisit their cultural roots and adjust their systems and services from this perspective. Almost a century ago, S. R. Ranganathan articulated five laws:
■ Books are for use
■ Every reader has her book
■ Every book has its reader
■ Save the time of the reader
■ A library is a growing organism3
These laws echoed the historical, core values of libraries, including openness, accessibility, and sharing. Today, Ranganathan’s “books” are a metaphor for all information accessible through libraries. The library itself is part of a larger, growing, networked organism, yet individual research libraries still provide a printcentric approach to finding and using information. Our systems and policies reinforce the notion of only being able to access what any particular library owns. Additionally, the interfaces and capabilities of these tools are strikingly inferior for a generation accustomed to video games and sophisticated e-commerce services like Amazon or Google.

Despite a few encouraging exceptions, such as RLG’s RedLightGreen Catalog interface and OCLC’s Open WorldCat, most libraries have been reluctant to embrace or provide new capabilities for users. Features such as personalization and recombination of information resources are pervasive in the external software and systems world, but libraries generally have not demonstrated the desire or intent to adopt these capabilities for users.

Info. Courtesy:
Dr. John Jaeger
Doctoral Research and
Reference Librarian
Dallas Baptist University



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