Tuesday, October 2, 2012

"I thought it was INFORMATION then TECHNOLOGY. Whats all the Hype with Technology???"

Comment to a discussion in Linked-In group Internet Librarian International "I thought it was INFORMATION then TECHNOLOGY . Whats all the Hype with Technology??? "

Of course, the available technology determines how a person can interact with the information. As the technology changes, people can interact with the information in other ways. So, when the library technology was based on printed cards, there were only so many things that a searcher could do with those cards. As the technology went into computers, people found they could do more, that is, as the information could be searched in more ways, you could ask different kinds of questions that couldn't have been asked earlier.

We are seeing it happening today. The information technology is changing in all sorts of ways so that brand new questions can be asked and answered. One of my favorite sites is "SearchReSearch" http://searchresearch1.blogspot.it/ which demonstrates what kinds of information can be found today. One example: there is a photo of an unknown cityscape taken out of a window. The question he asks is: what is the phone number of the office where the picture was taken? A question like this can be answered today! Never could someone have done something like this before!

This is discussed in an important public lecture: "What Does It Mean To Be Literate in the Age of Google?" http://hulk03.princeton.edu:8080/WebMedia/flash/lectures/20120228_publect_russell.shtml which I suggest to everyone.

Perhaps the questions asked in this website seem strange to us, but probably not any stranger than it would seem to librarians in the 1920s, who would be told that you could search for "shakespeare hamlet olivier", limit to videos and could find clips of the film. http://bit.ly/QJjuW8

People expect to be able to do this today and they will expect more tomorrow. It is a fascinating time to be a librarian!

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