Librarianship is an archive of posts and reflections about my work as an academic librarian and my thoughts about libraries, library collections, information literacy, reading, and learning.

As information explodes and goes digital, many predict that my occupation as a librarian will become obsolete. Google is so easy and simple to use.

It is true that Google is simple to use. I use it all the time. But at the same time, the quote below by Neil Gaiman is also true.

Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.

I do not know if I can always bring back the right answer, but I do know how to go about looking and sieving the answers. I feel more for the following quote:

“Librarians do not know everything. They just know how to find out about everything”

Another way to look at the role of libraries and librarians in the digital age is to see the Internet as the jungle, a library as a botanical garden, and the librarian as the gardener and guide.

A botanical garden is deliberately curated to showcase a wide variety of flora and arrange them in meaningful ways. Paths, whether meandering or straight, lead visitors from one discovery to another. It also prepares the visitors for the jungle, if they intend to expand their horizon.

I like this imagery very much. It helps that Singapore has really well-managed gardens, albeit small.

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