An article about Libraries in the Chronicle

Posting to Autocat

I would like to suggest two great articles in the Chronicle (an initial article and a follow-up) about the changing search methods of users, titled “The-3-Click-Dilemma: are library databases nearing the tipping point of obsolescence?” by Brian Mathews.and the follow-up (they are both free to access)

I quote:
“I had an interesting conversation with a faculty member last week that went something like this: “Brian, I want you to know that it’s getting harder for me to get students to use the library— especially the databases— anything beyond three clicks is just too many.””
in the follow-up article, he writes:
“It is simply about a situation in which a faculty member (library user) asks: this tool doesn’t work for my needs, what else can we do? This isn’t really about to-search-or-not-to search. It’s about the fact that faculty (not just students) are getting fed up with the search tools that we provide and are seeking new solutions.”
This is true–the public has a genuine choice today that they didn’t have 30 years ago. They know there are alternatives and are seeking these new solutions. 
His final paragraph makes the case brilliantly, where he discusses what librarians should become:
“What I’m trying to document is a shift from being info-pushers or info-providers to pedagogical partners. Are we in the business of promoting library databases or the business of helping users accomplish their tasks? Our current tools are a barrier for this particular course. That is the point I am trying to make. It isn’t an issue of teaching better but about listening better to the needs of our users. In my world, faculty are starting to make a statement: I have info needs and I’m looking for something different than what you currently provide– can you help me or should I go to someone else?”
Yes, a wonderful statement: “It isn’t an issue of teaching better but about listening better to the needs of our users.”

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