Librarianship and Information Management

An article in Harvard Magazine talks of how the library deals with the growing problems of librarianship and information management. Quotes from Gutenberg 2.0: Harvard’s libraries deal with disruptive change, Harvard Magazine, May-June 2010
  • “Who has the most scientific knowledge of large-scale organization, collection, and access to information? Librarians,” says Bol. A librarian can take a book, put it somewhere, and then guarantee to find it again. “If you’ve got 16 million items,” he points out, “that’s a very big guarantee. We ought to be leveraging that expertise to deal with this new digital environment. That’s a vision of librarians as specialists in organizing and accessing and preserving information in multiple media forms, rather than as curators of collections of books, maps, or posters.”
  • Internet search explodes the notion of a curated collection in which the quality of the sources has been assured. “What we’re seeing now with Google Scholar and these mass digitization projects, and the Internet generally,” says Hazen, “is, ‘Everything’s out there.’ And everything has equal weight.
  • Two facilities—one digital, the other analog—suggest a bifurcated future. The two could not be more different, though their mandates are identical. In Cambridge, the Digital Repository Service (DRS) is a rapidly growing, 109-terabyte online library of 14 million files representing books, daguerreotypes, maps, music, images, and manuscripts, among other things, all owned by Harvard. In a facility that also serves other parts of the University, a two-person command center monitors more than a hundred servers.
(Download the article in PDF here)
Other sites: - Google Books Library Project - Inside Google Books (Blog run by Google Books team) - The Google Books Project (Student project at Stanford University) - Rethinking the Library in the Information Age: What Role for Research? [Summary of a Conference/Workshop on Building a Library Research Infrastructure, 1988]
  • Abstract: The question "What is the role for research in library and information science?" lies at the heart of an ongoing project sponsored by the Office of Library Programs in the U.S. Department of Education. The project, which was begun in 1986-87, is designed to identify researchable issues that could help libraries attain or maintain a leadership position in the information society. This brief report summarizes the conclusions of a 2-day conference/workshop where reports covering the following topics were reviewed and discussed: (1) creating a model for research in library/information science research using the long-standing research university model as a prototype; (2) creating a think tank to act as an independent applied research organization (e.g., a library/information science Brookings Institute); (3) creating research-library-based infrastructures (e.g., research institutes and programs for visiting scholars, cooperative research grants, and research training); and (4) creating better mechanisms within professional associations to encourage and promote research. The conference was led by Robert M. Hayes, Dean of the UCLA (University of California at Los Angeles) Graduate School of Library and Information Science, and the 29 participants included young researchers and practitioners, supportive federal officials, and contributors to both the professional and research literature of library/information science. (SD)