Monday, April 30, 2007


from The Future of Libraries
Fuerteventura Digital, Spain - Apr 25, 2007

Finally, Hines gave the librarians an opportunity to apply what they had
learned. He divided the audience into small groups and gave each one an
assignment: to answer questions ranging from, "What are the implications of
complete digitalization?"

This is the question that always reminds me of Rollerball (the good one with James Caan):

Not-a-Librarian: Can I help you, please?

Jonathan E: Yeah. I tried to order some books and they said I had to appear at the centre personally.

Not-a-Librarian: That's right, this is our circulation unit. Make your choice here or by catalogue.

Jonathan E: There must be a mistake. These books are classified.

Not-a-Librarian: They have been transcribed and summarised.

Jonathan E: Who summarises them?

Not-a-Librarian: I suppose the computers do. What do you need books for?

Jonathan E: I wanna study up on some things.

Not-a-Librarian: You could go to the computer centre where the real librarians are. But we have all the edited versions here. Anything I think you'd want.

Jonathan E: Let's see, then. This is not a library and you're really not a librarian.

(thanks, Drew's Script-O-Rama)

So the lesson here is, real librarians have the books. Digitization is for "not librarians." If you want to stay a librarian, keeps your mits on the freakin' books and don't let go.