How Librarians Are Using the Internet

How Librarians Are Using the Internet

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4735-0.ch004
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This chapter examines the variety of ways librarians are using the Internet from its influence on the provision of new services to how librarians use the Internet to communicate with each other. A brief overview of Google and Google Scholar and their impact on library services alongside the Library 2.0 service ethic is explored with specific attention to its development and how it connects to previous understandings of library service provision. This is followed by an examination of how Web 2.0 technologies are used by librarians to offer services. There appears to be a disconnect between the rhetoric of technology use in libraries and the actual use of these technologies by librarians in their work lives. This disconnect highlights the previously identified relationship librarians have with technology – a combination of excitement and caution. Following this, a closer examination of three specific Internet technologies, blogs, Twitter, and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), is done. How librarians use these two technologies provides insight into the central place that technology has in the lives of modern librarians.
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The Internet, Google, And Identity

As discussed in chapter one, the Internet has been around in various forms since the late 1960s, but it only had a significant cultural impact after the development of the World Wide Web in the late 1980s and early 1990s. As discussed in chapter three, early online developments were both embraced and cautioned against by librarians, but, for the most part, librarians wanted to evolve and expand library services to meet the demands of new technologies. This desire to grow and expand library services continues with the development of the web. For instance, there were library users groups developed to discuss how best to use microcomputing technology in libraries (Brandt, 1987), articles examining the “adventures” librarians were having on the web (Powell, 1994), articles on developing library homepages to ensure the library had a virtual presence on the Internet besides the catalogue (Falcigno and Green, 1995), and many articles on the variety of information sources available on the web–both free and proprietary (e.g., Bates, 1995; Lewis, 1995; Notess, 1995). Search engines have been around almost since the start of the World Wide Web and librarians have evaluated them and used them since their inception (see, for example, Notess, 1999; Wiggins, 2000).

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