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The Web versus Library

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  • dauzai
    Dear Professional! Here is an Intresting article. THE WEB VERSUS THE LIBRARY The spread of the Internet, the WWW (worldwide web), e-mail, and newsgroups, has
    Message 1 of 1 , May 10, 2007
      Dear Professional!

      Here is an Intresting article.


      THE WEB VERSUS THE LIBRARY
      "The spread of the Internet, the WWW (worldwide web), e-mail, and
      newsgroups, has introduced millions of people to a new technology
      which they scarcely understand, and most have only a vague
      understanding of what can be achieved using this ever-expanding
      revolution in communication. Conversely, many have a false belief in
      the power of the medium, and have accordingly used it on the basis of
      what they imagine it to be, rather than what it is. It is, and
      remains, primarily a means of communication. It is not a library, and
      while it has the potential to be used as a virtual library, at the
      present day it is no match for the real thing. Real libraries have
      masses of data that will take decades, if at all, to be made available
      on the Internet. Real libraries have the bonus of trained staff to
      help you find what you seek, unlike most search engines, which bombard
      you with unnecessary extra and unwanted or useless data that happened
      to fit the parameters you set. Despairingly, thousands think this new
      resource must be better than a library, and waste time and bandwidth
      on posting questions, or searching the web, for information which
      their nearest public library can produce in short order. Indeed, some
      of the information they seek could be in their own home, if they used
      the family's reference books properly. As I browse the newsgroups and
      mailing lists, I spot query after query asking where a place is, what
      a word means, appealing for some explanation of a subject, what
      happened at a particular battle, is a named town a port? Ever single
      one of these can be answered by using an atlas/gazetteer, a good
      dictionary, and any of a dozen encyclopedias. Groups of reference
      books can even be purchased as a single CD-Rom disc. For the price of
      computer game, and easy to use on your computer. The more unusual
      questions can often be solved by a phone call or visit to your public
      library. Instead of this simple approach to question solving, I am
      sometimes treated to the spectacle of the blind leading the blind, as
      arguments rage in the style of the ancient Greeks, over the correct
      answer to a problem. All that is often needed is to look up the
      appropriate book, and get the authoritative answer. So all I ask is
      that before you post a question to the Internet, ask yourself whether
      the answer is readily to hand, in that unpowered, but powerful, tool -
      a book!"


      Regards

      Abdus Salam
      Librarian
      Library of Congress Office
      Islamabad
      03459192504
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