Skating on Thin Intermediation: Can Libraries Survive?
Predictions about the end of libraries point to a real crisis, but assign the wrong cause. Libraries will not be displaced by technology like Google, but can be undermined by librarians’ own reactions to patron demand for Google-like experiences. Librarians can respond with a “weak model” that prioritizes the satisfaction of patrons, or a “strong model” that recognizes higher values rooted in the status of librarianship as a profession. Although recent trends favor the dominance of the weak model, only by embracing the strong model can librarians survive the challenges that threaten libraries. A draft version is available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1347151
James M. Donovan. "Skating on Thin Intermediation: Can Libraries Survive?" Legal Reference Services Quarterly 27.2/3 (2008): 95-116.