Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Chronicle: 9/30/2005: Libraries Lost: Storage Bins and Robotic Arms

Fred D. White calls for the return of library collections that can be browsed. I suspect many librarians would agree. The problem has more to do with the cost of housing a collection in a facility designed for browsing as compared with housing a collection in an off-site facility not available for public browsing.
The Chronicle: 9/30/2005: Libraries Lost: Storage Bins and Robotic Arms: "Apparently, many librarians these days no longer value browsing, a word that evidently sounds sophomoric to their technology-attuned ears. Browsing, they seem to think, is what you do in a shopping mall, when you dreamily gaze at merchandise without buying anything. But browsing in library stacks is radically different. An important stage of research is searching, and a crucial part of that process is serendipity -- the happy accidents of discovery that stem from intellectual and imaginative readiness, not simply, as some believe, from a haphazard stumbling onto things."