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Call to Info Pros - Address the GLUT!
Posted by Lori Ayre on February 3, 2009
Trent Benson wrote a thought-provoking article about one of the more vexing problems humans face today: abundance.
He argues that humans have always been very good at dealing with scarcity, but abundance? Not so much. Think carbon dioxide, garages and basements, traffic jams, off-site storage units, Web everything, and just plain data.
The great problem our culture faces right now, in all ways, is glut. Not only are we physically overwhelming natural processes throughout the world, but we are doing the same in the virtual world of the Web. Great ideas are being lost in the firehouse spray, along with the entire orderly process of knowledge creation.
Without specifically calling out Information Professionals such as "Librarians" (though the fact that he doesn't points out another problem), he states:
Those trying to save all information should instead be devising plans for orderly and regular disposal of information. We need a new science of information conservation whose experts would devise methods and systems to rid ourselves of 95 percent of the daily information smog in which we are enveloped.
If this isn't the job of the today's Information Professional/Librarian, then who's job is it? Where are the new Info Pros that are doing the work of developing orderly processes to be used for knowledge creation, storage and disposal. Are we graduating them from our library schools? I schools?
Weeding has always been part of the the librarian's job, right? Well, now is not the time to give it up when there's so much weeding to be done. I didn't say it would be easy but still.
I also like another Benson quote, addressed to all of us as end users trying to live in a world with so much data, so much to know, so much to keep up with.....
You can either be a slightly informed factotum or an incompletely informed wise person.
Source: Benson, T. (2009, Feb 9). Info Glut: Academia's Foundational Threat, Campus Technology.