The Enduring Library: Technology, Tradition, and the Quest for Balance

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9780838908464: The Enduring Library: Technology, Tradition, and the Quest for Balance

Librarians are experts at selecting, evaluating and disseminating the best content in the most appropriate format to meet the needs of library users. New technologies can be invaluable tools in these efforts. Taking advantage of these technologies does not, however, change the fundamental mission of libraries everywhere. In this work, one of the library world's thinkers discusses the transformative effect that communications technology has had on information delivery from past to present to future. By tracing these transformations, Michael Gorman writes a roadmap for achieving balance between the tradition of library service and ever-changing technology. Exploring both opportunities and perils, Gorman points the way to: integrating technology into long- and short-term goals; rethinking reference work, to direct users to the highest quality sources available; revamping cataloguing through technology to improve user access; reinvigorating the library's role in promoting literacy; and relieving techno-stress to achieve peace of mind, harmony and stability.

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From Booklist:

From one of the profession's most prolific writers and passionate scholars, this book is billed as a "manifesto" that will help librarians strike a balance between the ideas of technology dominance and the tradition of library service. Gorman's premise is that to understand the impact of technology on society and libraries, we need to have a clear view of the history and evolution of communications technology. He holds that library life has always been affected by technology, suggesting that we are not in a transformational time but at an important point in the evolution of libraries. He also examines reading in the digital world and the nature of the Web, library work and the future of libraries (focusing on reference and cataloging), and two ailments of modern living--information overload and stress. Librarians and library administrators interested in forecasting, information technology, library trends, and professional ethics will want to read this insightful and provocative book. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review:

"I seek, in this book, to describe our present and future library life, and our use of technology, and our ways of looking at what we do. I also seek to describe a balanced approach that will enable us to incorporate technology (especially digital technology) harmoniously and without compromising our basic values."

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