With downloadable books will Libraries evolve or die?

So, I’m a librarian and I have a vested interest…

But, libraries will evolve. I don’t consider myself a ‘Librarian’, I’m an information professional specializing in knowledge management. Libraries will evolve in a couple of ways.

1. Libraries will likely manage large content licences for a geographic area. Information professionals will maintain the infrastructure used to find, authenticate and manage the storage of e-texts.

2. Libraries will remain as a common space in partnership with other community organizations. We have very few ‘commons’ in our modern world, public libraries are one example of this. A lot of libraries work with aid agencies, immigrant advocacy groups, the police, arts societies, disabled advocates, seniors groups and youth groups in the community. The library provides the common space and multiple entities use it.

3. Librarians are already losing the title of Librarians. Some of us are moving into knowledge management, others into data management, others into business libraries or ‘knowledge centers’ as some like to call them.

The profession is changing but the skills in filtering, judging, collecting and managing information are more important now than they were for paper books.

Originally answered on Quora


Answer to “Which indexes and databases are covered by Google Scholar?”

Enough that it’s almost more useful than vendor search solutions, but also so much that it’s hard to find what you need.

I have only a small collection of ejournals that I administer, but I rarely run into something that I can’t find with Google Scholar. We have our link resolver plugged in to Google Scholar and the combination of the two is pretty good. Not perfect, but good.

What I have noticed, and what makes me very happy with Google Scholar is that they have begun to index Open Access Repositories at universities with an open access policy. This is where Google Scholar becomes more useful than my federated search or link resolver because even if my library does not have access to a journal I can still find the article.

So, with the right training Google Scholar is an excellent tool in a researchers toolkit. It’s not the best for undergrads to learn on, but it’s good for the pros.

Originally answered on Quora

Answer to “How do libraries plan on collecting and archiving the amount of culturally relevant and useful information that exists on the Internet in a way that isn’t dependent on networked redundancies and the existence (and often conflicting interests) of large companies?”

There are a number of different ways that librarians are contributing to archiving the internet.

First, there’s the Internet Archive, which has the support of many major libraries in the United States and around the world.

There is the World Digital Library, Hathi Trust and several other regional and international archiving solutions for existing and new documents.

The National Archives acquiring the Twitter database is one example of culturally relevant and (somewhat) useful information being preserved.

For scholarly publications, there are the LOCKSS and CLOCKSS program run by Stanford university

Archivists and librarians came up with the PDF/A standard which allows for long term archiving of PDF documents.

Many of the standards are just now being set by archives in the US, LAC/BAC in Canada and by European librarians and archivists.

Originally answered on Quora