Friday 27 January 2012

Guest Post: Lauren Bailey

Today I have a Guest Post from Lauren Bailey,  :D
Here it is:

The Importance of Libraries: Updating Libraries for the Digital Age

For years, libraries have been an emblem of academic and intellectual life. With shelves upon shelves of books and the perfect quiet study environment, it no wonder why many college students and academics call the library their second home. However, as our society becomes more and more immersed in the digital age, libraries are beginning to struggle with what seem like outdated methods of research and learning. Students today are completely tech dependant, relying on the internet for most of their social, academic, and leisure lives. While the internet, eReaders, and personal computers have no doubt had an effect on library use, these digital phenomena have not injured libraries as much as many of us think. While some aspects of library use and library science need updating, there are still many relevant and useful things that libraries have to offer.

There are several ways in which libraries can update their curriculum and technologies to become even more relevant in today's society. As eReaders gain in popularity, libraries will need to respond to this trend. Traditional libraries can begin allowing eBook checkout, mobile applications concerning book availability, have library professionals trained for online resource retrieval, and more. All of these mostly minor updates can make a huge difference in bringing in new patrons. There's no question that libraries have seen slower days with the huge impact that the internet has had on academic research and accessibility to resources. However, this has by no means made library research irrelevant.

Many people fail to realize just how useful library research and use can be in today's society. Librarians properly trained in library science are taught to find information and resources in the fastest and most useful fashion. This can be extremely useful in today's academic world. While internet research allows you to do all of your source finding at home from your personal computer, this can cause several difficulties. For one, online research can actually take more time to conduct because of the mere vastness of internet. Moreover, many online resources offer falsified information that can be difficult to detect. By actually going to a library and utilizing the expertise of a trained librarian, we can reduce our work time and find more accurate and useful sources.

Lastly, but certainly not least importantly, libraries offer a study environment like few others. There is something purely academic and peaceful about reading or studying in a library setting. With all of these tech centric updates that libraries will be making in the near future, it is essential that they don't lose their traditional charm. I don't think that these updates will cause them to lose their studious feel, but it is a valid concern. Imagining entering a library for your Sunday reading session and feeling like you've just entered an Apple store is pretty disheartening. These small but important updates to the technology and running of traditional libraries can be enacted without changing the overall feel of the establishment.
This guest post is contributed by Lauren Bailey

I love how Lauren has captured the tradition and feel of a library. As I work in a library I really know how precious they are and how much they can do for people, and they are becoming more modern day by day, but I don't want them to lose heart. Make your library a special place to visit. Enjoy going there, if you don't use them, you'll lose them.
Thank you Lauren for your insightful post. :D

1 comment:

Melanie said...

I agree, libraries are incredibly important. My favorites are those who are able to do just as Lauren said, incorporate the old and the new.