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Being Analog: Creating Tomorrow's Libraries / Edition 1

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Overview

Walt Crawford, coauthor of Future Libraries: Dreams, Madness, & Reality, offers an alternative model to a simplistic digital future in Being Analog: Creating Tomorrow's Libraries. The always outspoken Crawford challenges popular prognostications, asserting that the complex mix of technologies projects no clear path to the future and that people use technology in unexpected ways. In today's competitive funding environment, digital dreams of virtual libraries pose the real threat of misguided physical and budgetary planning. Crawford's cogent arguments will help you articulate your own viewpoint to administrators, staff, or users who claim that the virtual library will do it all for less. He explores the roles of libraries and the reasons people use libraries. He helps you make choices among the ever shifting, complex combinations of digital and analog resources. Being Analog celebrates the remarkable results professional librarianship has achieved in sensibly combining human intelligence and computer power. It points the way to a real world where flexible libraries support today's services and resources while accommodating tomorrow's changes.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Because of my tremendous respect for Crawford, Access Services Officer of the Research Libraries Group, I read and reread Being Analog to see if the problem with it is me. Maybe it is, but I couldn't figure out for whom the book is written or why. It is a collection of vintage Crawford, so well aged that much of it was already dated when he first thought, said, or wrote it. You will recognize the Crawford voice, the warning, and even many of the villains. These are not exactly "straw targets" as Walt takes great pains to point out, but surely they are rare enemies of libraries, singled out to give the author targets for his attack on a kind of technovision that very few professionals hold anymore, indeed that very few ever did believe. It is the "digital dreamers" who fake "hardnosed practicality" and "those who still write about digital libraries as replacements for mixed libraries" whom Crawford attacks. I doubt any exist in the extreme terms he uses for them, although he did find one to name in the text and in the ten-item bibliography (three by Crawford). It is hard to believe, for example, that anyone is really so dumb that he can be described thus: "They don't read books, so books are dead.... They circulate preprint journal articles and consider magazines beneath contempt...." Oh, sure, there's some good stuff. I like many of Crawford's arguments, like those against Internet filters, but nearly all have been exhausted through heavy use, or are so basic as to already be among "the givens" of librarianship. Crawford says it all in straightforward, popular language. It is exhortative stuff, presuming such low levels of understanding that it is sometimes downright condescending. Most disappointing, the book fails to define or specify the problems it wants to solve, the enemies it wants to vanquish, or the future it wants to shape. After the second reading, I began to think that those problems, enemies, and futures all had an uncanny resemblance to windmills.--John Berry, "Library Journal" Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780838907542
  • Publisher: American Library Association
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 245
  • Product dimensions: 6.03 (w) x 9.03 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Pt. I Being Analog 1
1 The Future Is Not What It Used to Be 3
2 The All-Digital Future Does Not Compute 15
3 Different Strokes: People and the Future 29
4 Coping with Nonsense: Numeracy and Common Sense 42
Pt. II Libraries and Librarians 57
5 Tomorrow's Libraries: Complex Places 59
6 Tomorrow's Libraries: Complex Services 74
7 Many Libraries: Strength in Diversity 90
8 Real Librarianship in a Complex World 108
Pt. III Resources and Users 121
9 Books and Beyond: Thinking about Media 123
10 New Media, New Niches 137
11 Digital Resources and Analog Users 151
12 Telling Your Stories, Hearing Their Needs 168
Pt. IV Creating Tomorrow's Libraries 183
13 The Circle of Sharing: Why Cataloging Still Counts 185
14 Partnerships: Libraries and the Community 197
15 Partnerships: The Community of Libraries 204
16 Taking on New Roles 219
Conclusion
Revolution through Evolution 229
Bibliography 235
Index 237
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