"Steven C. Barr(x)" <[log in to unmask]> wrote: ****Again, as you note, the folks in charge of them seem to be lockedinto a fast-fading past...quite possibly because their positions(and status and income) came from taking course after course in"Library Science"...which taught them, mainly, one thing...howto acquire, catalog, shelve, store, lend out, promote, what haveyou...BOOKS! Yes...printed, bound collections of paper pages...which, although they are interesting as artifacts, take up a LOTof space (unlike digital ones and zeroes...!)
Library schools are making substantive progress, but they are tied to faculties who were brought up in the linear information environment. When they do apply the technology it is often to adapt the non-linear world of electronic information to the linearity of the printed page or web page.
Libraries have used the technology to automate the linearity to which they are used to. One could ask that if libraries were able to pool their resources to develop machine readable cataloging, why did they not pool their resources to develop an internet search engine. For me the answer resides in the notions of "control" that are implicit in a linear information environment.
As they say, the cheese has been moved, and for me, libraries still seem to be looking in the same place...even if they are using the computer to do so.