Does Internet Use Pose a Threat to Libraries (Yet)?


Anonymous Patron writes "Search engines or card catalogs is a study from The University at Buffalo School of Informatics. A major national study conducted by the University at Buffalo School of Informatics and the Urban Libraries Council found five years ago that increased Internet use in the U.S. had not produced a reduction in the public use of libraries.

The study presented a new consumer model of the U.S. adult market for library and Internet services, one that consisted of "information seekers" who used both resources, but in different ways.

With Internet use continuing to grow by leaps and bounds, the UB researchers now are poised to undertake a much larger national study to see what, if any, changes have taken place over the past five years."


Whether the net is a threat (oooo rhyme time) to libraries is still open to debate. One thing I've seen come from the growth of the internet is a need for someone to actually look at the information and pronounce it useful.

We've had lots of people come in working on widely different projects. What they want is to verify that their information is indeed correct. Some guy found out that such and such might fix his car, but is it true? Another student wants to verify facts they discovered on a website. They sounded outlandish, but logical- were they correct? Then someone else simply wants to get a few things on astronomy, but when they did a search they were quickly overwhealmed, where's a good place to start?

It's towards stuff like that I see a real movement, at least in my tiny corner of the globe. In other words, a movement to where librarians aren't just data collectors, but data sorters, data raters, and recommenders of good data. Kind of like the LII.

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