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Contrary to the popular misconception of libraries as stacks of musty books, they have long been at the forefront of information technology, maintains Amy Buckland, a librarian at McGill University in charge of electronic scholarship, e-publishing and digitization of rare books.
"People who say that libraries are on the way out have no idea what we do," she says. "We've always been ahead of things in that sense and we still are."
Buckland views Google not as a threat, but as an adjunct to the librarian's role.
"Librarians use Google all the time," she says. "It is handy for quick questions. But how do you vet the quality of these things? That's what librarians do. We teach our users how to find the quality answers."