Oct. 16th, 2010

fox_in_the_library: (kill me now)

Oh dear. After that class in Marketing and Management and utterly failing* both Information Retrieval and Stats lab practicals this week, I'm beginning to worry that I'm not practical enough to be a librarian. Currently attempting to write an essay comparing and contrasting traditional and digital library services, which I think I have to rein in a bit. I keep going off on tangents about 'what is a library' , and how you can't separate digital and physical services, particularly when a digital library is hosted by a physical institution, and explore whether the tension about technology in library services ultimately lies in the fact that when you talk about library services, you're not just talking about the nuts and bolts of customer service/strategic planning, you're talking about an entire value system based around concepts of knowledge, and who should control it and who should have access to it. And I want to squish both Alberto Manguel and Ray Bradbury in there somewhere. The theoretical tangles are so much more interesting to write about than the straightforward social sciences report that the lecturer seems to want.

Although he did say that he wanted to be surprised. Dangerous words when you're speaking to an ex-Humanities and alternative school student, my friend. You say 'surprise me', and I say, "Let me show you my interpretive dance version of why Google Book Search is controversial! I have ribbons and quotes from Robert Darnton!"

Since Robert Darnton, is, in fact, fairly awesome, I may actually just spare you the interpretive dance, and let you go mull over this quote instead:
     "The people at Google find the m-word objectionable. To spare their sensitivity, one could speak of a hegemonic, financially unbeatable, technologically unassailable, and legally invulnerable enterprise that can crush all competition. But in plain English, Google Book Search is a monopoly." (Robert Darnton, The Case for Books  New York: Public Affairs, 2009; p. 45)

Now: lunch, and then back to the essay. Hope you're all well in the meantime and take care!



*Not literally since they're not marked, but if they had been? *shudder and cringe* Math is the bane of my life we hates it, we hates it, my precious auuuuuggggh.

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