Thursday, February 28, 2008

Google Generation Myths

Is the Google Generation – children born after 1993 – different from the rest of us? Do they reach for a computer mouse while still in the crib, showing an instinctive ability to navigate the Internet and find quick answers? And where does college level research fit into all this? read more


Susan Harwood said...


My name is Susan Harwood.

I have a blog called


It is about Architecture, the Environment, Politics and Education.

I live in England. Today, I have raised an issue about public libraries.

Here, the tables and chairs have been replaced with large open (empty) areas and computers.

I am hoping you might have something interesting to say about this. Is the same thing happening to your libraries in Texas?

Yours sincerely

Susan Harwood

COM Librarian said...


Warning: Lengthy Reply

It's quite true that print is being taken over by non-print here in Texas. We buy fewer and fewer print journals every year, pouring more and more money into our online subscriptions. I even know of one library that went so far as to get rid of all its book and go totally digital! I have to say, this was not a librarian, but an administrator decision. By the way, we heard many complaints and saw an increase of students from that college in our library, where we still have print.

I believe our library has a very healthy mix of print and online resources. We have never stopped buying books, nor decreased our book buying budget. When I first started at this library there were two computers available for public use, and they provided access only to our catalog. Now we have over 39 computers for public use, with more on the way. While we’ve had to do a lot of creative shifting to make space, we have been very lucky and not had to do so at the expense of our print collection. Meanwhile, as a result of shifting to mostly online journals, we’ve been able to provide access to thousands of full text journal titles to our students, as opposed to the couple of hundred print titles we could provide in the past. We leave it to the large academic university and research libraries to maintain archives of significant print publications

The big challenge for us and many academic libraries? Getting our students to recognize that leisure research and college level research are very different things. As great as Google is, and I love it myself, it’s not the proper go-to for college level research.

Now my local public library where I love to go and get leisure reading still has lots of print. They also provide access to databases and some computers. Their solution to print v. digital? They are lucky enough to be getting a new building where they can provide more computers without losing space for the print collection.

I guess no matter the library, there has to be a balance of services and collections always in keeping with the mission of the library and needs of the patrons. One has to hope that patron needs are heard and administrators aren’t allowed to go wild. :)

By the way, my father's middle name was Harwood, I think it was his great grandfather who was a Harwood...

Susan Harwood said...


Thank you for such a full and interesting reply.

May I copy it into the 'Comments' on my own blog



About the Harwood side of the family . . . their ancestry was (I think!) Devon, Somerset, Wiltshire and Bristol . . . before moving to London.

Any links with that?

Although it's not an unusual name, it's not enormously common either. I've only met one person outside the family who is also a Harwood.

Once again . . . thanks for the reply and the thought you put into it!