Thursday, December 16, 2004

News from the University of Michigan library

I currently work at the University of Michigan's Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library. While leaving work tonight, I quickly glanced at a wall display showing cover jackets of new books in the library collection. There are currently two cover jackets being displayed, and they are displayed side by side. Here they are:

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Being the anti-statist who rejects both major parties and their candidates, I appreciated the message this display relayed to me, intentional or not.

And now for some real U-M library news:
U-M libraries get Googled
Talk about a great idea! As the first two paragraphs of the Detroit News article linked to state:
By the end of the decade, anyone around the world will have instant access to 7 million volumes of information at the University of Michigan's libraries without ever setting foot in Ann Arbor, foraging through a maze of dimly lit shelves or opening a single book.

Google, the popular Internet search engine co-founded by U-M alumnus Larry Page, today plans to announce a deal making virtually everything in the university's extensive collections searchable online.

Despite the fears of some who think such technology may threaten the existance of libraries, I firmly disagree since there will always be a need for libraries and there will always be people who need to go to a library to do their research. Some people will prefer to have the actual book they're looking for in their hand, especially if they're not fond of reading off of computer screens. Others may need help with their research, providing a reason to go to a library and seek out a librarian. And then there are things that I'm assuming will not be part of this project. People hoping to view an 1894 edition of the Detroit News will need to go the library and pay a visit to the microfilm machines.


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