Introduction to Library and Information Science/Annotation of De Gennaro, Richard. "Technology and Access in an Enterprise Society"

From Wikibooks, open books for an open world
< Introduction to Library and Information Science
Jump to: navigation, search

De Gennaro, Richard. "Technology and Access in an Enterprise Society." Library Journal 114 (1989): 40-43.

Technology began to transform libraries in the 1950s with microfilm and in the mid-1960s with the Xerox machine. Computerized databases were developed in the 1970s and offered more information and better ways to search and obtain it. Networks such as OCLC and RLIN made it easier to share resources. Although this article predates widespread use of the Internet, it is correct in predicting that technology will continue to change the future of libraries. Technology has allowed greater access to information for more people, but it was too early for the author to accurately predict the digital divide. He argues that libraries must innovate to stay alive and that change is happening so quickly that it often appears "chaotic." The World Wide Web, however, is often described as chaotic, unorganized, and confusing, but its benefits greatly outweigh its risks. Because new technology often helps libraries keep people connected to information, libraries must strive to make sense out of the technological chaos. The author makes a strong case for businesses’ need to compete but states that libraries’ structure and rules "inhibit us from making the kind of innovation that is needed to compete and survive." The challenge, he concludes, is not in introducing new technology but in creating new management structures for libraries. This plan seems to push libraries toward behaving like businesses, but I think this would restrict access and introduce new economic, cultural, and political problems.