By Herbert S. White

Librarians and libraries now face unparalleled demanding situations, dangers, and possibilities. In his most up-to-date choice of articles and speeches, White makes a speciality of the pro concerns confronting librarians at a time of elevated technological options-when uncomplicated info entry will be simply and at once performed via finish clients, yet during which advanced info entry poses wishes and issues which the tip consumer won't even realize, not to mention comprehend. frequently added with wit, those insightful and infrequently arguable commentaries are meant to impress critical notion, dialogue, and finally, motion. A needs to learn for library and data technological know-how execs and worthy supplementary studying for college students of library and data technology.

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We are not only tempted but fascinated by the desire to do good, at least good as we personally define it, and never mind the rights of others. Do we need to be reminded of examples? This is a good column in which to drag them out, because all of them are issues that I discussed in correspondence with John Swan and represent conclusions that he shared. The bittersweet memory for me is that some of his statements came just in the day, or at most days and months, before he died.

There are only two alternatives to having enough students, and they are both bad. Things either don’t get done at all, with a waste of all that investment in collection, or they get done by the higher paid others who leave their jobs undone. 2. An adequate support staff. We used to call these people clericals or paraprofessionals without intending any insult. However, in a time when garbage collectors have become sanitary engineers, appearance becomes more important than substance. In any case, you know whom I mean.

I hope not, because it isn’t that far from Baltimore to Newark, New Jersey, where John Cotton Dana saw the importance of also stressing service to the business community, large and small. Libraries must obviously establish priorities, but our patrons have their own very narrow priorities as well. Ultimately, only we can decide what librarians do and what they do not do. Just giving ’em what they want, all of them and everything, is chaos. Arbitrary decisions about who might be worthy of better or any service—a charge levied against academic libraries—are just as bad from public libraries.

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