Fair’s Fair: What Google Books Means for Scholarship

A picture of a book titled "The Google Book"

It is a common misconception that Google has obsoleted the purpose of libraries and their keepers. Librarians often challenge this point, noting, as Palfrey does in the afore-linked text, that companies like Google only increase the need for librarians and librarians since, by complicating the nature of information, they create demand for information experts and open new opportunities for how libraries can function. Just last October, Google shook the information boat again, albeit this time … [Read more...]

Discovering Worldcat Discovery

Worldcat Discovery Search Screen

As we enter the heart of the fall semester users of the E.H. Little Library’s resources may have noticed we changed our our catalog/discovery system over the summer.  Where we previously used Worldcat Local as an access point we now use Worldcat Discovery a new system provided by the same vendor (OCLC). This same change is reflected in the search box on our library home page which now also points to Worldcat Discovery.   So why change the interface that we have had … [Read more...]

Teaching Information Privilege

As the Assistant Director for Information Literacy at Davidson, I spend a lot of my time thinking about how to teach students information literacy.  In my experience, our students and faculty often equate information literacy with the ability to write research papers, so our librarians frequently are asked to teach skills and concepts that will help students succeed on specific academic assignments.  We value this important educational role, but we also know that an information literate person … [Read more...]

Browsing as Problem

I have long been fond of a 2010 article in American Libraries by Donald Barclay entitled “The Myth of Browsing.” Writing in reaction to faculty opposition to offsite storage of books and journals, Barclay pointed out that open stacks date back only to about 1940. He reminded readers that browsers are perusing whatever small segment of the information universe is owned by their library, that books can be shelved in only one place even if they cover many topics or perspectives, and that the most … [Read more...]

Constitution Week

Front Entrance Display Case

On September 17, 1787, delegates gathered for a final time to sign the document they had created after four months of secret meetings, the Constitution.  Much later, in 1956 Congress established Constitution Week to encourage all Americans to learn more about this historical document and the laws and values it imparts on our government and society. In the spirit of Constitution Week, the E.H. Little Library encourages students, faculty, staff, and visitors to explore the government documents … [Read more...]