Monday, February 23, 2009

Ethics and Closed libraries

Two issues are bothering me enough to write new articles. First, last Thursday, I read a story about the Wall Street Journal wanting to close their research library. I think this is not a good sign for libraries or librarians. People don't seem to understand that librarians help people navigate the world of information. When I teach on line searching I hold up a 900 page book from WestLaw and tell the class this is just the directory of data bases available from WestLaw and is only one of the more than 100 systems available to search. Just figuring out which data base to search sometimes requires help from a librarian. I know that Google opens up a portal to huge amounts of information, but Google does not index everything. Even some of the materials it does index, is not available for viewing without payment. There is a reason one pays to use a data base; value added.

The second issue is bibliographic instruction. About 4 weeks ago I taught a class about the materials concerned with ethics. Last week I read something that changed one of the ethic case studies that I presents. Information changed, now I have to update the class.

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