As noted in my last post, Kardinia International College library has disposed of 60% of its book collection. Manchester Central Library has recently disposed of 240,000 books, passed on to other institutions – or pulped. Priceless and irreplaceable. These are not isolated cases; it’s been happening for years, and the pace is increasing. Do we still need print? Is print dead?
A few days ago, I posted this on the librarians’ pages of iSkoodle, the ECIS listserv/ bulletin board, a discussion of print versus online resources, a plea to hold on to print:
I ended with a mention of Ken Vesey’s milking-stool analogy in an article for Teacher Librarian in 2005, “Eliminate “Wobbly” Research with the Information Resource Tripod.” I invited iSkoodlers to track down Ken’s article. As yet, nobody has written to claim success.
Where would you go? Can you find it?
Teacher Librarian online might be a good place to start – but the archives go back only to 2010.
Not a lot of help there.
Google? Good ol’ Google?
That leads us to Highbeam Research – and there’s the first four paragraphs, and, to be fair, I would be able to retrieve the full text of this whole article for free if I sign up for a 7-day free trial. It’s tempting,
but they want my credit card details up-front and the Terms and Conditions are 4777 words long and they tell me on the sign-up page that subscription costs $199.95 a year with no indication that subscription rises to $299.95 a year once my first year is up, I have to go to the FAQ to discover this tidbit “(normally $299.95)”…
Don’t you just love surprises?
So I am reluctant to sign up, just for this one article. Maybe later, when I have the time to make the most of the 7-days trial. I might then discover just how much I could use and enjoy Highbeam Research and subscribe for real?
Meanwhile, the Vesey article. Fortunately, there is always Ebsco! And yes, Ebsco carries the full-text of the article. No PDF copy, unfortunately, but we do have full-text HTML.
Full-text. The text, the whole text and nothing but the text. No pictures. The original article, as published, has four images. Ebsco’s full-text record has no images. We’re losing something.
Back to the original discussion: Can we do without our paper collection? Is print dead? Can we afford to throw out our collections and, partly or wholly, go online? We lose if we do.
We need to hang on to ourselves (Bowie), and surely, surely, we need to hang on to our print.
[And in the next post: the two minute version of Ken Vesey’s three legs of research.]
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It’s a sin what Manchester Central Library has done.
Even just disposing of one book is bad enough, but a few hundred thousand is criminal.