Some thoughts on emerging technologies…

I was thinking the other day and I realized that when I was in high school I didn’t have an email account. I hadn’t really been online either. Nor did I have a cell phone or an mp3 player. We did have a computer in our house, and I remember playing Dig Dug and the shareware version of Doom. Remembering how little technology played a part in my life back then kind of surprises me, especially when I look at my life now and realize how much time I spend online or on the phone. Hell, I can even watch cartoons that I used to watch as a kid online now. Perhaps the most significant moment, I feel, was watching a live feed of President Obama’s inauguration.
These days, generations younger than my own have been surrounded by all of this technology since birth. As with anything in this life, technology has both its positives and negatives, but for libraries I can only say that these changes have all been for the better. Our world thrives on the amount of access we have to information and knowledge. While some say that this ever-increasing access is strangling the world of libraries, I disagree. I remember seeing an ad once, I think it was by Google or Windows, that said, “What the internet needs right now is a good old-fashioned librarian.” I couldn’t agree more. Open access doesn’t always mean better access. That’s why the world needs librarians and libraries. You can’t just throw all of the world’s books into the middle of a gigantic swimming pool and tell everyone to dive in because nobody knows how to swim in a pool of books and there aren’t any lifeguards on duty.

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