Catalog. The card catalog. I remember the first time I’d been in a library since grade school. I had to do some minor research for a job search. I walked around looking for the card catalog so I could look up the information I needed.
After a puzzling, fruitless search; I asked a librarian where it was. “On the computer” was her answer. The library had gone digital. It seemed sterile somehow – no antique wooden drawers with brass handles; no more rifling through the cards sending up the smell of old books and written treasures.
Transliteracy (the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media ) has been around for quite some time. Transliteracy is concerned with what it means to be literate in the 21st century. It analyzes the relationship between people and technology, most specifically social networking, but is fluid enough to not be tied to any particular technology.1
This begs the question: how did librarians, retired part-timers and volunteers, become the admiralty of transliteracy? We moved from the iron age and the bronze age to the agricultural age and then into the industrial revolution. Now, the United States and the entire world has entered the information age. Who better and more qualified than librarians to integrate and manage the overwhelming onslaught of knowledge across worldwide cultural and technical divides?
One intrepid librarian has begun a blog: http://librarianbyday.net/
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