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Science Digest Magazine, March 1983


Jun 24 2009, 04:27 AM (Post #1)
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QUOTE
"Some people are going to have trouble grasping the fact that we are on the verge of an era in which the ability to read and write may not be sufficient to define it is to be literate. Literacy may soon mean being able to access, manipulate and store information in a computer
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Jun 27 2009, 09:09 PM (Post #16)
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Librarys don't keep information like they used to. Find one local library (as in, not a major city or government library) that has a card catalog that is within 5 years of being updated?

Unless you use the computer to look up the information, or sit there and hand dig through books, you arn't finding anything newer than 5 years.

Even then, the information you get from books at a library are really crap compared to the info you dig out of databases.
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Jun 27 2009, 09:50 PM (Post #17)
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QUOTE (Key's Rat @ Jun 27 2009, 01:09 PM)
Librarys don't keep information like they used to.� Find one local library (as in, not a major city or government library) that has a card catalog that is within 5 years of being updated?

Unless you use the computer to look up the information, or sit there and hand dig through books, you arn't finding anything newer than 5 years.

Even then, the information you get from books at a library are really crap compared to the info you dig out of databases.
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Do you think your standards for "recent" has changed, or that librarians have become lazier?
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Jun 28 2009, 09:27 PM (Post #18)
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.....you are a college boy, you should know that most normal librarys no longer keep card catalogs, as all of that is done digitally now, through various different programs.

This is better than a card catalog, in so many ways. You can run a search for every book that has a certain word or phrase in the title. Also, you can look for a book in other libraries, and send for it. In card catalog, you could search for an author name, or the first word of the name of the book, and that was it.

Because of the limeted function, and the general obselescence of card catalogs, they stopped updating them (probably only keep them around because they are heavy and hard to move, and librarians tend to be old ladies). Most libraries did that back in the mid 90's, but some stopped more recently, but at least by 2005, almost all of the libraries have switched completely from card catalog to a database format.

Ask your local librarian.
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Jun 29 2009, 01:52 AM (Post #19)
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QUOTE (Key's Rat @ Jun 28 2009, 04:27 PM)
.....you are a college boy, you should know that most normal librarys no longer keep card catalogs, as all of that is done digitally now, through various different programs. 

This is better than a card catalog, in so many ways.  You can run a search for every book that has a certain word or phrase in the title.  Also, you can look for a book in other libraries, and send for it.  In card catalog, you could search for an author name, or the first word of the name of the book, and that was it.

Because of the limeted function, and the general obselescence of card catalogs, they stopped updating them (probably only keep them around because they are heavy and hard to move, and librarians tend to be old ladies).  Most libraries did that back in the mid 90's, but some stopped more recently, but at least by 2005, almost all of the libraries have switched completely from card catalog to a database format.

Ask your local librarian.
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If you're looking for a specific book, that's great, but even still, at my school we had people who would find the number for you. Otherwise, the general Dewey Decimal system never changes, so looking at a more generalized topic won't be affected by technological innovation for a while longer.

QUOTE
You are right, you can do research by hand still, doing Dewey Decimal and what not -- but the question is: wouldn't you rather have more time on your hands to say, do other things?


Honestly, I don't like using a computer. It's definitely easier to find information, but taking the time to look through books gives me time to focus on the project at hand.
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Jun 29 2009, 02:21 PM (Post #20)
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Right. It's all about the focus and comprehension. I mean, who is going to postulate that anyone is actually smarter or getting to do "more things" or learning "more information" with the prominence of computers today?
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Jun 29 2009, 05:20 PM (Post #21)
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QUOTE (orisikon @ Jun 29 2009, 09:21 AM)
Right. It's all about the focus and comprehension. I mean, who is going to postulate that anyone is actually smarter or getting to do "more things" or learning "more information" with the prominence of computers today?
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Me. I don't consider knowledge to be a component of being "smart", so while it's easily mistakable, that one I can agree on.

As far as "doing more things" that depends a lot on a person's life's situation. If we're talking about "anyone", then of course there are people who do more things with a computer than they would without. Others may do less (in general), and play computer games as an alternative to perhaps physical games, which may be unhealthy, but then there are those who have little to nothing else to do, learn to program, and make their careers off of it.

As for learning more information, I don't really see how this can be disputed. Libraries will last about as long as newspapers do, and there are many similarities between the two when it comes to how computers affect them. All in all, computers make them inefficient by comparison, so if you have, say, a week to gather information for a report, it is much easier to use a computer. Libraries, first of all, depend on location, I'd have to go to a fairly big city in order to have the best selection, and still, I may not be able to find what I'm looking for. And that's assuming I have transportation available (unless I happen to live close to a decent library). Much of your time is spent dealing with references, flipping pages, etc. Even then, you still need a variety of sources of information (in order to avoid the constant bias you find in a single book, or maybe even two or three, which isn't to say this isn't the case on the internet, but you're still losing more net time).

When it comes to information, internet information is updated constantly. While Wikipedia is not a rigorous source for serious research, there are databases with books, articles, and journals from which you can find what you need. But regarding wikipedia, it is readily available and fairly accurate. Many look at random wikipedia articles in their spare time, I'd imagine a far greater percentage of people than those who went to libraries before the internet came about. In many cases, I'd imagine this serves as a somewhat productive substitute for watching TV.

That being said, I can easily understand why one would still like a library more than a computer (I don't, but I hate reading in general). It's more comfortable, you're not staring at a lightbulb for hours, and books tend to give a lot of information all at once, where much of the internet's information is broken down into articles. Much in the same way, I prefer a newspaper to online news sources. I don't distrust the accuracy of information, or that somehow, the internet isn't providing actual news, but newspapers are more comfortable, easier on the eyes, etc.
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Jun 29 2009, 05:45 PM (Post #22)
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QUOTE (Cardiac Arrest @ Jun 29 2009, 10:20 AM)
Me. I don't consider knowledge to be a component of being "smart", so while it's easily mistakable, that one I can agree on.

As far as "doing more things" that depends a lot on a person's life's situation. If we're talking about "anyone", then of course there are people who do more things with a computer than they would without. Others may do less (in general), and play computer games as an alternative to perhaps physical games, which may be unhealthy, but then there are those who have little to nothing else to do, learn to program, and make their careers off of it.

As for learning more information, I don't really see how this can be disputed. Libraries will last about as long as newspapers do, and there are many similarities between the two when it comes to how computers affect them. All in all, computers make them inefficient by comparison, so if you have, say, a week to gather information for a report, it is much easier to use a computer. Libraries, first of all, depend on location, I'd have to go to a fairly big city in order to have the best selection, and still, I may not be able to find what I'm looking for. And that's assuming I have transportation available (unless I happen to live close to a decent library). Much of your time is spent dealing with references, flipping pages, etc. Even then, you still need a variety of sources of information (in order to avoid the constant bias you find in a single book, or maybe even two or three, which isn't to say this isn't the case on the internet, but you're still losing more net time).

When it comes to information, internet information is updated constantly. While Wikipedia is not a rigorous source for serious research, there are databases with books, articles, and journals from which you can find what you need. But regarding wikipedia, it is readily available and fairly accurate. Many look at random wikipedia articles in their spare time, I'd imagine a far greater percentage of people than those who went to libraries before the internet came about. In many cases, I'd imagine this serves as a somewhat productive substitute for watching TV.

That being said, I can easily understand why one would still like a library more than a computer (I don't, but I hate reading in general). It's more comfortable, you're not staring at a lightbulb for hours, and books tend to give a lot of information all at once, where much of the internet's information is broken down into articles. Much in the same way, I prefer a newspaper to online news sources. I don't distrust the accuracy of information, or that somehow, the internet isn't providing actual news, but newspapers are more comfortable, easier on the eyes, etc.
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You are right and wrong on this matter.

I feel that if the humanities field survives through these technologically advanced times, then there is always a need for term papers. While you can still find many of the articles and books you need online for citation, some older articles and pieces still require a trip to the library to look at microform. Unless someone creates a widely known system that allows for this, the library still has relevance. And don't forget, there is a group of people in this society that finds curling up with a book in bed with a nice cup of hot chocolate or lemonade to be a very satisfying past time. The quietness of the library also makes for very good study space too -- we call it a learning commons here at my school.
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Jun 29 2009, 10:57 PM (Post #23)
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QUOTE (Albert @ Jun 29 2009, 12:45 PM)
You are right and wrong on this matter.

I feel that if the humanities field survives through these technologically advanced times, then there is always a need for term papers.� While you can still find many of the articles and books you need online for citation, some older articles and pieces still require a trip to the library to look at microform.� Unless someone creates a widely known system that allows for this, the library still has relevance.� And don't forget, there is a group of people in this society that finds curling up with a book in bed with a nice cup of hot chocolate or lemonade to be a very satisfying past time.� The quietness of the library also makes for very good study space too -- we call it a learning commons here at my school.
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Did you even read my post?

EDIT: Remember, I was addressing the implied claim that there wasn't anyone who learned something from computers. I've already addressed that a library is more comfortable, and people enjoy reading from a book more than from a screen. You can curl up with your laptop in bed, as well as drink lemonade with it. My bedroom is quieter than any library I've been in, by the way. But this has nothing to do with my point. I'm sure that over time, most worthwhile books will be available on the internet in some form or another (many already are). The corollary to that is that sooner or later, most things will be published online, and only online. I don't think we're at or near that state, nor will we be for a long time, but I think it will happen eventually.

This post has been edited by Cardiac Arrest: Jun 29 2009, 11:09 PM
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Jun 30 2009, 03:15 AM (Post #24)
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If you're looking to do some quick research, libraries are definitely going out of style in my opinion. Even though I am within a 5 minute walk of the world's fourth largest library system (Behind Library of Congress, Harvard and I think Princeton), I still dreaded having to walk to the library and go down the elevator to the floor where the books (I found the location of them online) were. I just wish Google Books were a more universal service that was provided as a public service by, say, the Library of Congress, rather than a venture for profit by internet companies.
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Jun 30 2009, 05:57 AM (Post #25)
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QUOTE (Jinghao @ Jun 29 2009, 08:15 PM)
If you're looking to do some quick research, libraries are definitely going out of style in my opinion. Even though I am within a 5 minute walk of the world's fourth largest library system (Behind Library of Congress, Harvard and I think Princeton), I still dreaded having to walk to the library and go down the elevator to the floor where the books (I found the location of them online) were. I just wish Google Books were a more universal service that was provided as a public service by, say, the Library of Congress, rather than a venture for profit by internet companies.
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We have an automated retrieval system here at SCU, so you can find them physically or have them delivered to the front desk. Pretty cool, actually -- but I do agree with you.
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Jul 1 2009, 02:50 AM (Post #26)
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QUOTE (Albert @ Jun 29 2009, 09:57 PM)
We have an automated retrieval system here at SCU, so you can find them physically or have them delivered to the front desk.  Pretty cool, actually -- but I do agree with you.
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We have that too, but I think I needed to learn how to find a book stongue.gif I forgot my Dewey!
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Jul 1 2009, 03:01 AM (Post #27)
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QUOTE (Jinghao @ Jun 30 2009, 07:50 PM)
We have that too, but I think I needed to learn how to find a book stongue.gif I forgot my Dewey!
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Oh those English profs, always trying to teach us how to do outdated things... -_-

If I want a book anywhere, I just reserve it. I don't ever go to the library looking for a book because I feel like it, lol
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