Prophetic is a bit of a strong word when it comes to the Buckland text. Perhaps relevant and meaningful are more accurate. As I read, I couldn’t help but think of my local library system, the King County Library System here in Washington State. It was a pretty magical place to visit when I was much younger (heck, my Kindergarten teacher even worked there). My 8 year-old self would have never dreamed of what is available and accessible now.
I ended up reading the whole Buckland text and found it perhaps more relevant now than when it was originally published in 1992. In the Foreward, Michael Gorman, who was the Dean of Library Services at Cal State, Fresno, states “The use of digital electronic documents can go well beyond that of simply reading a text or seeing an image. This flexibility (conferred by the ability to edit, merge, add to, make subsets of, rearrange, etc., electronic documents) will have profound, and not invariably benign, effects of libraries, library users, and library service” (Buckland, 1992). Yes, yes, yes. Library 2.0!
Furthermore, this has not only had profound effects on library service, which by the way I appreciated Buckland’s focus on the user, but educational technology as well. I couldn’t help but make connections between this text and Dr. Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR model. Without going into extensive detail, SAMR stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition. Integrating technology into library service and education has changed the whole user and student experience. Substitution would be simply reading an electronic book instead of a paper one. Augmentation would be perhaps doing a book report PowerPoint with videos embedded. Modification would be the same presentation the multiple students could collaborate on at once. Redefinition would be all of the above, but maybe the author has been invited to collaborate via video real time. Redefinition essentially is working on a learning task that would be inconceivable without the use of the tech tools available.
This is all great, but we must also consider equity and accessibility issues that go along with the advances in technology, but fortunately there are information professionals like us who are able to keep this at the forefront.
Buckland, M. K. (1992). Redesigning library services a manifesto. American Library Assoc.
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