Have you ever wondered why Globe campuses continue to have a library, and even hire a librarian, in the age of Google? Well, yes, the most obvious reason, particularly this week, is that ACICS requires it as part of the campus accreditation. But I like to think that as a “vendor” of higher education, Globe recognizes the difference that a library, and especially a librarian, can make in the campus climate and college community. A library says to the world outside our campus that we, at Globe-La Crosse, are here because we value the quest for knowledge.
Could the all-knowing Google replace academic librarians? Yes, I suppose, but what would you do when your search returned over three million results and you needed a scholarly article? OR you wanted a recommendation for what to read over the upcoming summer break weeks? As long as students have questions, there will be a need for librarians.
So while libraries, and the role of librarians, will continue to evolve in the information age, they will survive. Nikky Finney, winner of the 2011 National Book Award for poetry, recently called the library “the second most sacred physical space on the planet (Perception, 2012, p. 38).” All I can add to her description is, Amen!
Perception: How the world sees us (2012). American libraries 43(5/6), 38.