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The Myth of the Electronic Library: Librarianship and Social Change in America (Hardback)
  • The Myth of the Electronic Library: Librarianship and Social Change in America (Hardback)
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The Myth of the Electronic Library: Librarianship and Social Change in America (Hardback)

(author)
£93.00
Hardback 224 Pages / Published: 30/07/1994
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Librarians develop myths to explain themselves to society and to generate support for their profession. Since the last quarter of the 19th century, the prevailing myth has been the myth of the library as place. Confronted with social change, librarians are searching for a new myth. They are abandoning the myth of the library as place and are adopting uncritically the assumptions and values of the myth of the electronic library, with profound consequences for the future of librarianship. This book examines the assumptions and values of the myth of the electronic library, compares them with the myth of the library as place, and explores the meaning of the library as a place, alternatives to the information society, the role of the librarian in a therapeutic society, and the politics of librarianship. It concludes with a set of propositions with the objective of encouraging librarians to assess critically the role of libraries and librarianship in the context of social change and, especially, to debate more fully the implications of the myth of the electronic library for librarians and the users of the library.

Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 9780313292101
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 428 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 23 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Birdsall spends much of the book building his case that the library as place has stronger political, social, and cultural immediacy than the electronic library and, thus, is still a force to be reckoned with. He eventually acknowledges that a successful library must combine both myths. It must work as a place valued and influenced by the broad community, and still be seen as a successful purveyor of electronic information and network access for individuals....a scholarly, thought-provoking work."-The Journal of Academic Librarianship
..."well written and well organized....should be read by anyone who wonders where we came from and where we are going."-Library Software Review
"William Birdsall has provided a concise account of the major issues that currently divide the worlds of librarianship."-Journal of Academic Librarianship
"Birdsall has done a remarkable job to openly challenge the wisdom of ignoring the political and cultural implications of the electronic library."-Journal of Information, Communication, and Library Science
"The author's scholarship is impressive. This book is highly recommended, deserving to be read - and discussed - by all stakeholders in the future of information provision."-Information Processing and Management
"Thoughtful and very well documented, with a bibliography of more than 500 items on futures-thinking relevant to libraries. Although addressed to librarians, Birdsall makes a valuable contribution to the broader questioning of information society."-Future Survey
"Birdsall's gripping polemic is not to be missed. The Myth of the Electronic Library reads like a courtroom drama. The author's clear intention is to expose flaws in the electronic library model and defend the virtues of traditional organizations, buildings, and roles. The fact that he is scrupulously fair in his assessment of the electronic library only adds weight to his passionate defense of the values that it negates or ignores."-College & Research Libraries
"Drawing from the literature of librarianship, the humanities and social sciences, William Birdsall examines the underlying mythology that has affected librarianship in the past and that is driving it into the twenty-first century: the myths of the library as place and the electronic library... This book, indexed, and with end notes and an extensive bibliography, is an important book for all librarians to read and understand....Library policy makers should be made to read it twice."- RQ
?...well written and well organized....should be read by anyone who wonders where we came from and where we are going.?-Library Software Review
?William Birdsall has provided a concise account of the major issues that currently divide the worlds of librarianship.?-Journal of Academic Librarianship
?Birdsall has done a remarkable job to openly challenge the wisdom of ignoring the political and cultural implications of the electronic library.?-Journal of Information, Communication, and Library Science
?The author's scholarship is impressive. This book is highly recommended, deserving to be read - and discussed - by all stakeholders in the future of information provision.?-Information Processing and Management
?Thoughtful and very well documented, with a bibliography of more than 500 items on futures-thinking relevant to libraries. Although addressed to librarians, Birdsall makes a valuable contribution to the broader questioning of information society.?-Future Survey
?Birdsall's gripping polemic is not to be missed. The Myth of the Electronic Library reads like a courtroom drama. The author's clear intention is to expose flaws in the electronic library model and defend the virtues of traditional organizations, buildings, and roles. The fact that he is scrupulously fair in his assessment of the electronic library only adds weight to his passionate defense of the values that it negates or ignores.?-College & Research Libraries
?Drawing from the literature of librarianship, the humanities and social sciences, William Birdsall examines the underlying mythology that has affected librarianship in the past and that is driving it into the twenty-first century: the myths of the library as place and the electronic library... This book, indexed, and with end notes and an extensive bibliography, is an important book for all librarians to read and understand....Library policy makers should be made to read it twice.?- RQ
?Birdsall spends much of the book building his case that the library as place has stronger political, social, and cultural immediacy than the electronic library and, thus, is still a force to be reckoned with. He eventually acknowledges that a successful library must combine both myths. It must work as a place valued and influenced by the broad community, and still be seen as a successful purveyor of electronic information and network access for individuals....a scholarly, thought-provoking work.?-The Journal of Academic Librarianship
?Why is the myth of the electronic library so attractive? It is in tune with social and technological changes, it is allied to a powerful technology, it offers concise goals for the library and librarians and it promises to enhance the professional prestige of librarians. This book forces us to take a hard look at the promise and perhaps re-evaluate our adherence to the myth. My students will certainly read it and I thoroughly recommende it ot the adherents of both myths.?-Journal of the American Society for Information Science
.,."well written and well organized....should be read by anyone who wonders where we came from and where we are going."-Library Software Review
"Why is the myth of the electronic library so attractive? It is in tune with social and technological changes, it is allied to a powerful technology, it offers concise goals for the library and librarians and it promises to enhance the professional prestige of librarians. This book forces us to take a hard look at the promise and perhaps re-evaluate our adherence to the myth. My students will certainly read it and I thoroughly recommende it ot the adherents of both myths."-Journal of the American Society for Information Science

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