Saturday, September 02, 2006

Paper(less) Chase

This Lazygal post is littered with good sense.

An excerpt:
So here's my question: why? What makes an electronic environment so much better than a paper environment?

First of all, electronic technology can (and often does) fail. There are any number of times during the day when my wireless connection reads "unable to provide link". Just a couple of summers ago, the East Coast had a massive blackout. This summer, there were blackouts near where I live and in NYC due to tornadoes and storms, not to mention overloading the system. There's absolutely no guarantee that this can be avoided - that the power supply will always be there.

Second, if what we're trying to teach students is organization and responsibility, how is providing them with the ability to make endless copies/printings of something helping? In all the years I've been hearing the phrase "paperless office", I've seen just the reverse happen. More paper is used, as people make countless printouts of things. Why? Because we can. ...

That pretty much comports with my observation over the the two decades since I first starting hearing the "paperless office" P.R. theme first sounded in a big way. Oh, there are some things that I'd always prefer electronically and that really do cut down on paper, but in other areas, it's really more of a duplicative experience rather than a replacement phenomenon.

I also think the point about organizational skills and students bears some consideration--along with the one she makes in this post about the inherent value of physical research and browsing among library stacks. (And do follow the link to Terry Teachout, who refers to a related issue, and to which Lazygal is responding.)

Good stuff. I've been meaning to plug Lazygal's blog, Killin' time being lazy, for a while now, but I guess I've been too, well, lazy to get around to it. (Oh, c'mon! Could you have resisted?) A passionate librarian and lover of information, she always has something interesting to say...and I daresay that her blog name, and handle, are misnomers.

Update: Yep, I've finally decided on one way to keyboard "Lazygal." Well, I've never said I'm against stealth proofreading, now I have I? But then, I remember putting in a fair amount of time on replate duty. Gives one perspective.