Evil (Information) Scientist

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“Do libraries matter?” Review (Conclusion)

Posted by Nathaniel on October 17, 2007

Chad and Miller (and Talis) present a broad vision of the future of libraries that is as exciting as it is unsupported.  Indeed, compelling ideas are presented with very little supporting evidence, relying, instead, on readers’ intuition or desire to find the proof in alternate sources.  This tendency towards vagueness continues with powerful sounding ideas that run into problems on further reflection until one begins to suspect that the lack of substance is due to commercial motives.  This weakens the authors’ aims significantly and obscures the credible vision and solutions they do present.  This paper gives no reason for library management teams to immediately access Talis’ services, but it does give a few hints as to where library management might begin to consider orienting themselves.


7 Responses to ““Do libraries matter?” Review (Conclusion)”

  1. Rachel said

    I cannot tell you how glad I am that you think it’s unfounded too. It’s so terrifying to be posting our conclusions in the public sphere, and it’s reassuring to find peers that agree. It seems like library 2.0, as Chad and Miller framed it, is a lot of hot air about technologies, but very little substance.

  2. Rachel said

    I know it’s like, “Books are stupid, so are libraries. Now clap for me.”

  3. anna said

    Yes–This article seems to be another propaganda, however I do agree that it serves as a backdrop as to the importance of web 2.0 in library systems.

  4. Lola said

    Their position is odd, because you wouldn’t expect people from a software company to be promoting Web 2.0 and OSS stuff. It doesn’t completely make sense until you read about The Talis Library Platform:


    From the paper:

    The Talis Platform hides the complexity of managing metadata, of resource discovery and
    sharing, of transactions, of aggregating data across many systems, and of integrating best of
    breed applications into libraries. The platform is designed to lower the cost and technical
    barriers to use by the open source community to innovate on, and for institutional developers
    and our vendor peers to build upon.

    How apropos.

  5. Thomas said

    Do you think that Prof. Nickerson was implying something about Talis in class when he talked about “white papers” (the term being exploited to cover up biased reporting)? The article we were supposed to read was a “white paper” after all…

    Good conclusion, Nathaniel. I agree with ya.

  6. You have a lovely writing style, but I totally disagree.
    No,wait. I do agree.

    I find after reviewing Chad and Miller, I don’t know how I feel about Library 2.0… Miller is such a champion of it. Is it possible it’s a conspiracy to get at library holdings? I don’t know if it’s time to get the trusty old aluminum foil helmet out…

  7. Nathaniel said

    Well thank ya kindly. The lovely writing style was about the only thing about the paper the TA liked though. I thought I’d done a good job, especially considering the hell that was last week and it’s cornucopia of assignments, but I appear to have been mistaken. Oh well. Live and learn.

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