Information: how libraries work in the Internet era

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This essay is about how the Internet affect our lives, the differences and similarities between the internet and libraries, how they are correlated, how to find reliable information and how technology helps people to get information.

Submitted: June 08, 2016

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Submitted: June 08, 2016



Information: how libraries work in the era of the internet

Today is the era of technology. Technology, for many young people, provides ways to express identity, communication with adults and accessibility to information. (Herr-Stephenson, 10) All kinds of information are close, people just need to type and search on Google to find anything they want about everything they need. There are scanned books online, all kinds of theories, stories and academic information, all included in one place: the cloud. However, there are no filters in this cloud, which makes things harder for people who want to find truthful information, while people can find it on personal libraries. The differences and similarities between the internet and libraries are striking and they merit thorough examination in the areas of reliable sources, storage of information, technology and correlation.

Reliable sources are essential for academic information. It is its soul, there’s no meaning in a project or work without truthful sources. The first point about it starts on the internet. Searching on Google, people often find what they want because it has a feature called “Google Suggestions” that lists the most common searches related to what they want to find. (Stebbins, 2015) That Google tool is very useful for everybody, but in majority, young people tend to use more than some people in their middle ages who are used to find what they want in the library. Often they look at somebody’s site and think that the information is true, in fact looks like, but it is not. In libraries, people can find a book by its code and have to search in the book for the information they want. Toronto’s libraries are rich in sources for academic information used in Universities, colleges, etc.

To reach the young public, library has no option but to provide access to electronic resources to their users. (Matthews, 126) That’s because they are used to search on Google to get what they want quickly, but sometimes they don’t find the information they are looking for. If used wisely, Google can also help to find the right information people want for University. What happens is this: people are used to use Wikipedia for academic purposes. This source can’t be one hundred percent trusted, because a lot of individuals have access to change the information. Sometimes the information looks correct, but it might be not what looks like. The difference is, in the internet they can write whatever they want and some people can change it, but in the library, there are specific books for academic purposes and it can’t be changed or modified.

The internet has a lot of storage information around the world. They are stored in machines, servers that make the internet possible. The thing here is: people can’t turn off the internet so easily. So it’s always possible to access internet anywhere, anytime. Every part of the library is affected by the internet. There is no part in the library immune to it. (Reid, 14) The internet brought large changes in the way individuals see the libraries. Before, people went to the libraries to search for the book they want, borrow it or buy it to have. Now, they can borrow books online and use it on their computers or even search it on the internet and book a book, because as long as the books are used, they are stored and start to get bad for read. If they put all books on the cloud, all of them will be safe. Cloud can be related to the saving data included into a remote database where people can access through the internet. The internet makes the connection between the computer and the database. (Strickland, 2008)

Libraries are thinking about the future now, because the world is evolving and if it doesn’t walk together, it gets outdated. That’s the reason people are digitalizing books, because it reduces reliance on the fragile original documents and sources, to enhance greatly the delivery of the material. (Reid, 16) Even with the possibility that the internet can be shut down, it’s very hard for people to turn off lots of servers and databases because they are around the world. With books, they do other versions of the original one, including digitalizing, so it still lives. But for accessibility, people have to take care of the book to access its information.

Technology is on people’s hands now. So they carry and can access the internet anywhere. They can read a book online, search for PDF format and read on tablets, computers, cell phones. However, they must to download to have it. Otherwise, when they are out of the internet zone, people can’t access the content. The library's fate is entangled with external technological factors.(Stielow, 43) For libraries, individuals can use cell phones or tablets to read books online through applications, sometimes it’s free and if they prefer, they can search where is located the book they want to have in hands. It also can be accessed through a device called Kindle. It was developed by Amazon, and it is a small hand-held electronic device for reading books. It has 4GB and can store up to 2,000 books. (Etherington) It’s good to have such a tool for reading, that can be accessible for all ages and it’s easy to manage for older people, young people and kids to keep their books close all the time. Libraries have been anxious to increase e-book circulation because the electronic format is popular for nowadays readers. (Woodward, 13) Because of its popularity, libraries are engaged into this as humanity and technology evolves. That’s the reason both have good accessibility to information through the internet and technology.

However, there is no guarantee that the information is really true. Truth has a difficult time getting things right in a context in which false information is allowed free play (Herring, 59). Information is around everywhere but it’s not guaranteed that some specific information is really true, because there are people who speak their minds and change the real information to cause confusion. Mark Herring says that even Google Scholar being a good source of information, it contains only a very small fraction of information available.(60) That’s shocking because people use it for their school homework, essays and sometimes there are not enough information for some topics that maybe they could find more things on the library.

Nowadays, there is a correlation between the internet, technology and libraries. Libraries have more access to the internet than before. In Toronto, almost every library has computers for their users. They have access via wireless for those who want to bring their own computers. That’s a useful tool for individuals that not only want to find or read a book, but also to make a good place to be in for study. It’s remarkable that a lot of people are in the library studying instead of being in their house. They have all the information for both the internet and library close, so if they need a book to take a look, it’s close to them for use. The correlation in this case is: people in the library look in their computers to find the book’s code on the internet.

That’s a huge advance for the libraries, because they must adapt to people’s needs. Even having all the reliable sources in their place, if they don’t have space or allow technology, they will be forgotten. The way libraries are correlated with the internet is strong enough to make authors who want to publish a book, having to make another copy for e-books, so it can be read for everyone, not only for people who don’t use technology. That’s the way librarians and libraries are surviving, such as Charles Darwin describes the humans: “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, or the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change”.

The internet and libraries have their differences and similarities in such areas as reliable sources, storage of information, technology and correlation. But somehow, both are connected and both provide people information. Finally, judging for the importance of the information, the internet and libraries have accessibility for kids, teenagers, adults and older people. But people have to be careful with what they search, because for academic purposes, the information has to be true. Libraries are always open to people, because now they are progressing with the technology and the internet, fused into one to attend people’s necessity. As the years go on, the number of information increase, libraries are evolving and mankind will continue to spread the knowledge for all.

Works Cited

Woodward, Jeannette A. The Transformed Library. Chicago: ALA Editions, 2013. Print.

Matthews, Joseph R. Research-Based Planning for Public Libraries. Englewood: Libraries Unlimited INC, 2013. Print.

Reid, Peter H. The Digital Age and Local Studies. Oxford: Elsevier Science & Technology, 2004. Print.

Herr-Stephenson, Becky, Diana Rhoten, Dan Perkel, and Christo Sims. Digital Media and Technology in Afterschool Programs, Libraries and Museums. Cambridge: MIT, 2011. Print.

Stielow, Frederick J. Reinventing the Library for Online Education. Chicago: ALA Editions, 2014. Print.

Herring, Mark Y. Are libraries obsolete? An argument for relevance in the digital age. Jefferson: McFarland & Co Inc, 2014. Print.

Stebbins, Leslie F. Finding Reliable Information Online: Adventures of an Information Sleuth. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015. Print.

Strickland, Jonathan. “How cloud storage works.” Computer 2008. Web. 10 May. 2016.

Etherington, Darrell. “Amazon doubles the Storage of the Existing Kindle Paperwhite.” 2014. Web. 11 May. 2016.

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