Skating on Thin Intermediation: Can Libraries Survive?

Legal Reference Services Quarterly, Vol. 27, pp. 95-116, 2008

28 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2009

See all articles by James M. Donovan

James M. Donovan

University of Kentucky College of Law Library

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

Predictions about the end of libraries point to a real crisis, but assign the wrong cause. Libraries will not be displaced by technology like Google, but can be undermined by librarians' own reactions to patron demand for Google-like experiences when in the library. Librarians can respond with the weak model that prioritizes the satisfaction of patrons, or the strong model that recognizes higher values rooted in the status of librarianship as a profession. Although recent trends favor the dominance of the weak model, only by embracing the strong model can librarians survive the challenges that threaten libraries.

Keywords: Google, internet, library 2.0, professional ethics, patron expectations

Suggested Citation

Donovan, James M., Skating on Thin Intermediation: Can Libraries Survive? (2008). Legal Reference Services Quarterly, Vol. 27, pp. 95-116, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1347151

James M. Donovan (Contact Author)

University of Kentucky College of Law Library ( email )

620 S. Limestone Street
Lexington, KY 40506-0048
United States

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