Friday, November 12, 2010

Telephone White Pages Becoming a Thing of the Past

The photo below was taken two years ago.  A closer investigation revealed that probably half of these phone books were more than three years old.

I'll never forget the time I poked around the reference collection of the La Crosse Public Library in the mid-1980s and discovered a phone book from Warren, Pennsylvania (see 'About Me').   Whoa!  That's depth, I thought.  Of course, that was back in the day -- and probably at the tail end of it -- when libraries received phone books at no cost.

Link to November 12 Appleton Post-Crescent article, "Companies yank cord on residential phone books".

Excerpt: Residential phone books, a longtime fixture on kitchen counters, refrigerator tops and junk drawers, are disappearing from the American landscape.

[Not to mention a longtime fixture on library reference shelves.]

Regulators have begun granting telecommunications companies the go-ahead to stop mass-printing residential phone books.

In the past month alone, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania approved Verizon Communications Inc.'s request to quit distributing residential white pages. Residents in Virginia have until Nov. 19 to provide comments on a similar request pending with state regulators.

Telephone companies argue that most consumers now check the Internet rather than flip through pages when they want to reach out and touch someone

Has the trend to Google everything affected your library's approach to this particular aspect of reference collection development?  How much have you cut back in, say, the past 10 years?

We don't answer our landline, as it's rarely anyone we know.  Yeah, I know, get rid of it.  The task has somehow ended up on our procrastinator's to-do list.

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