Friday, May 11, 2012

What makes a library a library?

A friend and I were having a conversation today about libraries.  There is a new shift in the purpose and functions of libraries these days.  This is necessary to stay useful and needed some argue, but others disagree.  Some people believe libraries are meant to be physical locations that house books and people can come into the physical building and pick up a physical book and take it home.  Other people don't believe that the physical aspect of a library is as important as what a library stands for, which is providing a way for people to access information.  Isn't it?

With the digital age upon us these debates and similar ones have popped up everywhere, and not just in libraries, we are talking all areas of disciplines and business.  Some people don't care as much about the container or how they get the information just as long as they get it and it is easy and convenient.  For some people who have struggled or maybe not even tried to jump on the progressively fast moving technology bus, something a bit more traditional may be easier.  Some people just have old fashioned taste others would say.  Is it right or wrong whether a person reads a book on their kindle vs an actual physical book off a shelf?  In my opinion no, but that is just my opinion.  Sure I have a preference but that is my personal feelings.  Yes mine is to the physical book, I like them and there is nothing wrong with that. If I need information fast though and easiest quickest way to get it is through an e-book, I will use it no problem. 

There is a shift to digitize everything these days. There are pros and cons to this.  Some things cannot be digitized due to copyright for one, which could cause major problems.  Some things are not in a condition to be digitized.  Some people may consider things to not hold the same value in digital form. Plus there are always risks of hacking, viruses, or crashes; then all could potentially be lost.  Good back up systems are necessary.  Sometimes the best backup system is the actual physical item, or as some would argue it is the other way around: the digital copy is a backup to the paper copy. 

There are full electronic libraries and they can be used without a person walking into a physical space.  Some people may not consider that to be a library, just an electronic database.  In a sense I think a library and a database could be argued to be one in the same.  Both are places that hold lots of content, just on different levels and physicality.  These digital libraries are just as prevalent today as a traditional library, it just offers information in a different format. 

There are also libraries that are now being designed without books, or very little space devoted to books. These are places that have an emphasis on technology and digital learning spaces. They also have an emphasis on collaborative work spaces.  These are new trends of user needs in libraries, particularly in academic libraries.  Many libraries are trying to find a way to accommodate this and that is causing much debate and sparking intense conversations amongst the community.  Some people are torn, others are accepting and taking this on head first, while others are fighting in the opposite direction. 

How will things turn out? Progression in my opinion doesn't usually turn back, it just changes.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Why Ipads?

Ipads are all the rave these days and other tablets as well.  I am still trying to figure out what all the hype is about.  It may be because I don't have one or haven't really used one that I just don't get it.

From what I understand the Ipad does not have the same capabilities as a normal computer or laptop, yet in some cases you are paying twice as much! I understand it is an Apple product and those are not cheap.  I do not see the logic in investing in an Ipad when it cannot do as much as my laptop.  I have heard people say they would rather an Ipad than a laptop, why?  Having both okay I suppose I can see a convenience factor for the Ipad, but still there is not enough going for it that I would invest in one.

I see people use them for entertaining their children...that seems like a really delicate and expensive toy to me.

Personally if my laptop can do what an Ipad can plus more, and only cost half the price, why do I need anything else?

Will Apple eventually upgrade the ipad to where it does what a computer can?  Maybe.  At that point would it be anything more than a small slim touchscreen computer?

Just some thoughts on technology I don't totally understand.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Smart Phone

So I am thinking about finally upgrading my phone.  I have had 5 phones in my life, starting with a prepaid phone in high school. 

I have never had a high tech phone.  I have never even had a phone with a camera.  Nor have I ever wanted one.   I have always wanted just a simple phone that I can make calls on and text.  And it took me a bout a year to even get into texting.  That actually didn't happen till I started talking to my boyfriend, before we were actually dating but that is besides the point here.

The point is it has been 7 years since I got my first cell phone and I really need to upgrade.  I want to stay up with technology and hopefully get a career in the digital field so learning how to be digital and connected is important.  What easier place to start than with my cell phone.  It is something I use on a daily basis already. 

I want to get a smart phone.  Currently I need to save up to buy a new phone but I think I am ready.  I even think I am going to go ahead and get one with a 4G network and  face time capability.  If I am going to do it why not do it big. 

I like the iPhone, my sister has had one since the very start, and I do mean day 1.  I have learned to use one a little from messing with hers but I am still no pro.  Unfortunately iPhones are a bit out of my current budget.  I already have Metro and can upgrade my phone without really changing my phone bill so that is what I think I shall do. 

I'm a bit nervous but I think once I make the change I will learn and adapt quickly.  Everyone has to start somewhere and I think this will be it for me.