FW: Open Reply to Thomas Mann


  1. Tom said:

    This is an interesting reaction to Thomas Mann&#39;s report but I feel you misrepresent his attitude to shelf browsing – as made clear in his 2005 book The Oxford Guide to Library Research, he views this as merely one possible search strategy, which has weaknesses and strengths complementary to other strategies. On page 49 he makes exactly the point you make on pp 2-3 of your report:<br /><br />&

    December 2, 2009
  2. Thanks for sharing this. I haven&#39;t had a chance to read his book.<br /><br />I don&#39;t want to give the idea in my open reply that Mr. Mann believes that browsing is &quot;a be-all-and-end-all search strategy,&quot; since I don&#39;t believe that is what he says. I am just trying to point out that relying on browsing for much of anything is becoming obsolete very quickly. <br /><br />I

    December 3, 2009
  3. Anonymous said:

    Mann demonstates that there is a very live baby, not to be thrown out with the bathwater, residing in classified shelving. How would you have answered the questions he had to answer (one from a congressperson, one from a Supreme Court justice, both under deadline pressure) without that way of searching? He clearly says that this is only one way to get at some records–but that, specifically at

    December 3, 2009
  4. Anonymous said:

    &quot;Browsing is fast becoming a relic of the past&quot;? Mann _shows_ that you&#39;re wrong. Or is it just that you don&#39;t have experience that compares to his in dealing with rush requests from government agencies? You can&#39;t tell them that the library world has &quot;moved on&quot; to Google searches that don&#39;t work, when they need their answer now!

    December 3, 2009
  5. These are interesting reactions to what I see as an offshoot to the main thrust of my argument, but still indicative of how things must change. The decline of shelf-browsing is an unavoidable corollary of building a digital library: digital items cannot be browsed on shelves. As librarians, we will all have to deal with that. To answer someone&#39;s question, we should use *every tool* at our

    December 4, 2009

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