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Jun 17

Are Libraries Obsolete? An Argument for Relevance in the Digital Age (2014)

Posted on June 17, 2015 at 11:16 AM by Brian Herder

Are Libraries Obsolete

Are Libraries Obsolete? An Argument for Relevance in the Digital Age (2014)

Mark Y. Herring

McFarland & Company, Inc.

ISBN 978-0-7864-7356-4

"No" says the publisher.

The digital age has transformed information access in ways that few ever dreamed. But the afterclap of our digital wonders has left libraries reeling as they are no longer the chief contender in information delivery.

The author gives both sides -- the web aficionados, some of them unhinged, and the traditional librarians, some blinkered -- a fair hearing but misconceptions abound. Internet be-all and end-all enthusiasts are no more useful than librarians who urge fellow professionals to be all things to all people. The American Library Association, wildly democratic at its best and worst, appears schizophrenic on the issue, unhelpfully. "My effort here," says the author, "is to talk about the elephant in the room."

Are libraries obsolete? No! concludes the author (also). The book explores how libraries and librarians must and certainly can continue to be relevant, vibrant, and enduring.

Mark Y. Herring is the dean of library services at Winthrop University, Rock Hill, South Carolina. In 2007 he wrote, for McFarland, Fool's Gold: Why the Internet Is No Substitute for a Library.