Friday, 23 November 2007

Boomers in thrall to a wiki universe

In an article which appeared in the THES on 16th November 2007 (Boomers in thrall to a wiki universe pg 14 if you want to check it out) Tara Brabazon argues that there is a threat to the university library from Web 2.0 initiatives because Google is the new library catalogue and the web is almost a library anyway. Brabazon, a Professor of Media at Brighton, see Librarians as the new Jedi (her allusion, not mine) fighting against the evil empire which constantly reduces funding for knowledge and stops people having the space to think - not sure Obi Wan had that in his job description. Web 2.0 is seen as the empire's new death star (OK that is my allusion) which is being used to batter the librarian/jedi. Perhaps the most telling idea in the article is the argument that spaces such as Wikipedia, Myspace, Facebook etc have democratised information but in the process reduced the role of the expert so that there is now confusion between "finding information and building knowledge". Brabazon argues that if everything is available, instant, downloadable, able to be viewed again at any time, then there is no time to think about things deeply - it is all too easy and too shallow.
what do you think?


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