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Missing piece

February 28, 2014

I continue to read about the broad and significant misunderstandings that librar* suffer from, and I feel that there is a basic problem. Librar* are foundational to any knowledge-based enterprise, and librar* have always been the cost center that paid for, on behalf of the enterprise, access to and preservation of vital information. The institutions that house librar* feed upon resources selected, protected, and funded by librar* and to view librar* as deficit cost centers instead of the central support for the enterprise as a whole is just—nuts.

Further, those who believe that everything is free on the internet must have needs that can be served via Google, Twitter, and Facebook. At what point will these folks need the latest research regarding Google,Twitter, and Facebook? Open access is not yet the shining knight that can rescue us all. And what of the well-funded opponents of open access? Can any knowledge-based enterprise thrive, much less survive in a pay as you go, pay per view world?

The current management models chip away at the foundations of the enterprise when chipping away at the librar* budget, personnel, facilities. Lean close: Knowledge is power. When you deprive librar* of support, you strangle the power of your organization. If that is your objective, swing big, and here, take this piece of cardboard and a marker. Yer gonna need them.

All of this is to say that I continue to monitor the fate of hospital libraries, so near and dear to my heart. I remember the determined and active medical staff and nurses who wanted to know the best and brightest information about any problem they were facing. Such a pleasure to work with you.

I have been destroying books recently, and I guess my mood reflects that. If it were a garden, we would turn the old books under and from them, new books would spring. Now THAT would be a library of my dreams.

May your good dreams come true, mliswilltravel.

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