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01/21/2014

Library Dean Explores the Role of Libraries in the Digital Age

Quick Facts

 Library Dean Mark Herring noted that the digital age has transformed information access in ways that few ever dreamed, particularly libraries who are reeling as they are no longer able to serve as the chief contender in information delivery.
 Herring gives both sides - the web aficionados, some of them unhinged, and the traditional librarians, some blinkered - a fair hearing but misconceptions abound. Internet be-all and end-all enthusiasts are no more useful than librarians who urge fellow professionals to be all things to all people.

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ROCK HILL, S.C. – With digital information available at the tap of a smartphone or tablet, Winthrop University Library Dean Mark Herring asks in his new book, “Are libraries obsolete?”

The answer is a resounding no!

Herring noted that the digital age has transformed information access in ways that few ever dreamed, particularly libraries who are reeling as they are no longer able to serve as the chief contender in information delivery.

Herring gives both sides - the web aficionados, some of them unhinged, and the traditional librarians, some blinkered - a fair hearing but misconceptions abound. Internet be-all and end-all enthusiasts are no more useful than librarians who urge fellow professionals to be all things to all people.

With the American Library Association “acting schizophrenic” on the issue, Herring tries to work through the dilemma. “My effort here," he said, "is to talk about the elephant in the room."

His book, called “Are Libraries Obsolete?: An Argument for Relevance in the Digital Age” explores how libraries and librarians must and certainly can continue to be relevant, vibrant and enduring. It is printed by McFarland & Company, Inc.

Herring has a popular poster, "10 Reasons Why the Internet is No Substitute for a Library" available through Winthrop’s Dacus Library. He has had other work appear in the Library Journal, American Libraries, Chronicle of Higher Education and many other publications.

For more information, contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at 803/323-2404 or e-mail her at longshawj@winthrop.edu.

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