Skating on Thin Intermediation: Can Libraries Survive?
Legal Reference Services Quarterly, Vol. 27, pp. 95-116, 2008
28 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2009
Date Written: 2008
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
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