Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Digital VS. Print in the Reference Collection

Jolene Nechporenko
LIBR 266

Puacz, J. H. (2005). Electronic vs. print reference sources in public library collections. The Reference Librarian, 44(91/92), 39-51. doi: 10.1300J120v44N91_04

I enjoyed Puacz’s article on Electronic VS Print reference resources.  Being pro-digital myself, I liked how the author weighed different issues that surround this format, such as impact on the users and cost.

Personally, I think the downfalls of digital information are so far and few between that’s it’s almost the only way to go.  There will always be exceptions, perhaps where print is desired or the digital version isn’t affordable, and Puacz reminds us to take these into consideration.   However, if one can afford it, I think you get a lot more bang for your buck and there are even some digital resources, perhaps limited, that are free of charge.

I hope I’m not being too narrow minded, but can there possible still be libraries in the US that are not connected to the web?  One would think, that at the very least in the smallest libraries, the reference desk is capable of going on-line to find resources.

Digital information continues to excel because of several reasons:

·        Allows multi user access.

·        Access can be remote.

·        Can be accessed with various devices.

·        Digital collections save physical space, (important with reference)

·        Digital collections are ‘green’.

·        Digital collections are more easily updated.

There will always be those few people out there who try to fight off technology.  These patrons aren’t so much afraid of the digital information (after all, you can almost always print out pages,) as they are of the actual device.  There are still many people out there that for whatever reason are anti-computer.  I assume most of these people (those darn radicals) will eventually become extinct.

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