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David Lee King

Luddites have XML Feeds, too!



The Guy Who Calls Himself A Luddite but has a blog and complains about RSS and XML… something does not compute :-)

More than one blogger will be writing about this post today. Here are some thoughts from me:

“New technologies have certainly added something to libraries, but what the [beep] does RSS newsfeeds or XML [sic] metadat schemes have to do with serving patrons and getting people to read books?”

Well… could be that those patrons can now subscribe to a feed on a topic that interests them and be notified when new books about said topic arrive at the library… with a direct link into the catalog… so they can check it out… and read more.

“fire the webmasters, settle on the current version of the OCAT software”

OK. The newest “OCAT” (did you mean OPAC?) will most likely be web-based. So you need to rehire the webmaster you just fired.

“libraries should be tools for social change, especially when it comes to fighting ignorance and illiteracy.”

Have you looked around lately? “Social change” is taking place – we’re going through a HUGE technology revolution right now. Smartphones that connect to our catalogs. Wireless laptops and hotspots throughout our cities. Web-based news. Etc. By embracing technology, libraries ARE “tools for social change” and are “fighting ignorance and illiteracy.”

“These tech savvy librarians are also the ones responsible for the disappearance of books and other printed materials from our libraries.”

Two things here…

1. “tech savvy” librarians usually work in the IT department, and have no say in how the colleciton development librarians spend their budget line. If you want to complain about books disappearing, complain about the people who SET the budgets.

2. Printed books disappearing does not mean that books are disappearing. Books are slowly changing formats from print to digital, and we’re seeing this during our lifetimes. Books are now being formatted to be read on cell phones – and this is not something librarians are doing. For that matter, ColdPlay (the rock band) is releasing their newest single as a ringtone first.

Libraries SHOULD still focus on books and other materials that can be read – but formats are changing. Libraries need to be able to provide those formats.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/1320435 Greg

    I think the main way libraries promote social change through technology is by bridging the so-called digital divide. There are so many people who only get exposure and experience (and thereby some level of technological literacy) to computers through the access and education provided by their public library. Not only does this experience make them feel more empowered in a quickly evolving tech environment, it also provides people with the opportunity to gain skills that will make them more marketable in difficult employment times. What’s not socially transformative about that?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/1320435 Greg

    I think the main way libraries promote social change through technology is by bridging the so-called digital divide. There are so many people who only get exposure and experience (and thereby some level of technological literacy) to computers through the access and education provided by their public library. Not only does this experience make them feel more empowered in a quickly evolving tech environment, it also provides people with the opportunity to gain skills that will make them more marketable in difficult employment times. What’s not socially transformative about that?

  • Anonymous

    I think, also, it is important to point out to those who are concerned about disappearing printed materials that the rise of new media/technology (radio, television, telephone, phonograph, audio and video cassettes, cds, dvds, etc.) has never supplanted all of our old and familiar means of transmitting and storing information. The printed book will likely outlast every new innovation in technology simply because it is an irreplaceable part of human culture. There is no need for fear mongering or even mild concern. Luddites should sit back and relax. Once upon a time, the written word was considered an innovation beyond the spoken word. We all still talk to each other, however.

  • Anonymous

    I think, also, it is important to point out to those who are concerned about disappearing printed materials that the rise of new media/technology (radio, television, telephone, phonograph, audio and video cassettes, cds, dvds, etc.) has never supplanted all of our old and familiar means of transmitting and storing information. The printed book will likely outlast every new innovation in technology simply because it is an irreplaceable part of human culture. There is no need for fear mongering or even mild concern. Luddites should sit back and relax. Once upon a time, the written word was considered an innovation beyond the spoken word. We all still talk to each other, however.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/9306387 Bud Wiser

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/9306387 Bud Wiser

    Wonderful page! Enjoyed it very much. I come from the land of us cellular ringtone so I know what I’m talking about!us cellular ringtone

  • Anonymous

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  • Anonymous

    I have, like 3 minutes, to type this, but I just wanted to say thanks for the good blog. I like to search for different things on the net. My boredom led me to search for cool ringtone the other day, and it led me to to total obscurity. Never know about he SE’s.