Nationally syndicated tech radio talk show host, Kim Komando’s download of the day is Zotero. Personally, I am a big fan of Zotero so I am happy to see it getting some love. However, one of the things she writes in her short blurb about the download is:
Research used to be done in the dark stacks of a library. Archived news stories were stored on microfiche. […] Today, the Web holds all the information you could want.
Librarians will know that not all archived news stories are available in digital format, and many that are come with subscription fees. Yes, there is more information available at your desktop and Zotero is an excellent tool to organize it, but to say that all the (research) information you could want is available on the Web has no basis in reality – yet many people seem to think that it is.
While today’s libraries provide more then just access to information and IMO would still be valuable even if all information were freely available on the Web, librarians need to realize what some influential people are saying and be prepared to counter those claims. We need to be able to make a case to our stakeholders, whether they be voters and elected politicians in the case of public libraries, or faculty and administration in academic libraries, that we are a) providing information that people can not get elsewhere, and b) that we provide valuable services around that information. We can’t just lament or criticize people like Kim Komando for not knowing this, we need to educate them.