Uphill both ways!

The impetus for this post comes from a couple of my classmates’ comments on our assigned reading for this week of “How far should we go with ‘Full Library Discovery’?” I couldn’t agree more with Madam Librarian and MetaWhat! Data! but I thought I’d post my own comment for a little added emphasis. In reflecting on this piece I am reminded of this old cliché, “With great power comes great responsibility” (and after typing this phrase into Google I see that the quote is most known from Spiderman, so now we know that it’s from a reputable source!) But seriously, how many times have we asked the question, is this capability really smart and cool or is it really creepy, so far in this class? As the commenters on the original blog post note, there definitely needs to be transparency with how “full discovery” is enabled and a clear and easy way to opt out. Furthermore, I really think the author is on to something when they bring up the value of serendipity in the stacks. I feel like this is an idea that very quickly gets overlooked when all the too brilliant, creative, and innovative minds out there start fantasizing about all the ways computers and data can “make life easier” for us. While I don’t necessarily always agree that the hard way is the only good way, knowledge and understanding are certainly amplified when they are worked for and not passively received.

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2 thoughts on “Uphill both ways!

  1. Pingback: In defense of irrelevance | MetaDamen

  2. Transparency in our licensed tools is imperative; however, the search engine corporations have set the precedent for non-disclosure of the details of their algorithms (and even what their structured surrogates look like!) due to reasons of propriety, and I’m afraid the library “discover services” vendors are basically following suit….

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