Friday, June 18, 2004

Drowning in information, starved for knowledge: information literacy, not technology, is the issue This is by Alan Bundy of the University of South Australia. It was presented at Books and Bytes: technologies for the hybrid library 10th VALA Conference, Melbourne 16-18 February 2000.

From the abstract:

The main issue of the so called information age is still being given scant systematic attention. Even if they recognise their need for information, people often lack the understandings and skills to identify, locate, access, evaluate and then apply the needed information. Librarianship is the only profession which is really alert to this issue but has itself allowed a preoccupation with technology to obscure its response to human need , as well as to its primary responsibility for the record of civilisation. All librarians in the 21st century will need to promote the fact that it is good libraries and information literacy, not just information technology, which largely determine who are the information rich and information poor. They will also need to reintermediate through balanced use of analog and digital resources; challenge those who peddle technology as the panacea for the world's educational, economic and societal needs; assert their values and insights; and review constantly how technology in libraries is affecting their users, and the paper records of civilisation, most of which will never be digitised and with which libraries will remain entrusted.

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