Friday, January 21, 2011

Manitowoc Public Library Director on the Changing Nature of Libraries

Libraries changing: Library's role grows with expanding data. (Herald-Times-Tribune, 1/21/2011)

Excerpt: Recently we had a teachable moment at our house. My son posted a message on his Facebook page about a girl who committed suicide after her father posted something on her Facebook page. The headline was shocking and disturbing.

But when you tried to click through and find out more information, the details would not be revealed until you answered survey questions that included your phone number and e-mail address. Turns out, this is a scam and an attempt to send a virus to your computer. Fortunately, my son didn't follow the links or give out any personal information. But it could so easily happen.

In a world of easy access to billions of pieces of information it is not always easy to tell fact from fiction. It's easy to be tricked. I thought the information age was supposed to make life easier, simpler. In some ways it certainly has done that. Using maps has changed, finding phone numbers, keeping in touch with friends and family through e-mail and social networking.

But this era comes with a new complication. We need skills to interpret the information, to think critically and be suspect of what appears on the computer screen. Librarians call this information literacy

Related articles:
Reorganization plan affects staff morale.  (1/21/2011)
Staffing Changes in the Works at the Manitowoc Public Library. (12/24/2010)

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