Week 3 – Reference – Issues Based Reflection

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    • #1759
      Steven Walker

      Week 3 – Reference

      This weeks topic showed me the vast array of different issues relating to reference material and I decided to take on the topic of “Mobile devices and impact on reference” with a touch of “The Demise of Reference Work”.

      Issues Based Reflection:

      My reasoning behind this is because I remember a time when the emergence of the Internet and services like Wikipedia may render Libraries as defunct and they may no longer have a place and when I researched further into this I found an article written by MG Seigler and his Column discussed the future of libraries and how their demise might come about, my point in this is to reflect that the opposite is true. In the article he states “…it’s hard not to imagine a future where the majority of libraries cease to exist — at least as we currently know them. Not only are they being rendered obsolete in a digital world, the economics make even less sense….The internet has replaced the importance of libraries as a repository for knowledge. And digital distribution has replaced the role of a library as a central hub for obtaining the containers of such knowledge: books.”. His column is largely a reflective opinion piece however it readily rendered me in a state of defense for the library community and in particular how libraries have evolved to swiftly move into the digital realm. My point of argument is that in a separate column posted by Paul Saywers where he shows how libraries have pioneered a whole new way into getting people to return to libraries and a great example from his column is the discussion where he talks about “..Google recently revealed it was providing “design know-how” to the architects hired by Future Library, an initiative that’s striving to transform Greece’s public libraries into “media labs and hubs of creativity, innovation and learning”. The aim is to attract segments of society who spend little time there – entrepreneurs, students, unemployed, and immigrants.” You may now be asking how does this fit into mobile devices and the impact on reference work and the demise of it? So how do mobile devices help with reference material? I have found a chart below conducted by the American Cardiology Association the image depicts how their doctors use mobile devices and what for.

      Chart of MD used in CO

      I did a consuming amount of reading around this topic and there is a small margin of research that has been conducted into the impacts of library referencing. The study I found most relevant to this weeks topic is titled “The use of handheld mobile devices: Their impact and implications for library services” written by a contingent of three authors from Washington State University. The demographics component is quite interesting in the study and it reflects the “technology generation gap” . The study mainly uses survey data to look into the impacts of mobile devices and reference work. For example in the survey they asked people whether they preferred to access the Washington State University Libraries OPAC with a small screen or a big screen and then discussed their results in detail which showed to me that the trend will increase.  However getting to the heart of the issue reflectively, I am always using the QUT library digital reference resources ton my smartphone to assist me in finding appropriate reference material for my Project subject IFN701 which I have a heavy emphasis on my opposition to the new laws recently passed in the senate, those ones that no one really wants to talk about (The Data Retention Laws and The Anti Piracy Laws). Having the ability to use my smart phone on a bus and also use the live chat for library referencing has been very helpful.

      mage of Pirate
      In conclusion it has taken alot of reading and research on the topics of mobile devices and the demise of reference work, but found that there is no sign that libraries will ever be defunct. Furthermore that people will increasingly use mobile devices to assist in finding good and relevant reference material (Wikipedia doesnt really count). And that as I age and technology expands libraries are in a strong position to prevent the “demise of reference work”, and finally the impact that mobile devices have is one of expansion and making it even easier for people to find more relevant material as more and more information is centralised and collated and example of this I found in a study conducted in the medical field, which is making medicine and doctors safe and happy to  use mobile technology in the form of telehealth, consultations and writing scripts, but of utmost importantce is the ability to access reference material as shown above.

      After taking all the above into account I have also found that the future looks bright!

      Image References:

      1. American College of Caridloits and usage if Mobile Devices : http://www.acc.org/~/media/Non-Clinical/Migration-Content/CardioSurve/2011/01%2002/2011%2001%2002%20CardioSurve%202.png?la=en
      2. General Picture Piracy : https://i.ytimg.com/vi/URU07C_GSqk/hqdefault.jpg
      • This topic was modified 8 years, 9 months ago by Steven Walker. Reason: Original Upload Failure [Error 45HX]
      • This topic was modified 8 years, 9 months ago by Steven Walker. Reason: add images and adding subject matter
      • This topic was modified 8 years, 9 months ago by Steven Walker. Reason: add image , add more reference material
      • This topic was modified 8 years, 9 months ago by Steven Walker. Reason: add references
    • #2205
      Sarah Ross

      Hi Steve

      Interesting ideas on why the library is dead – but it isn’t.  Online is great but unless you use your “critical thinking” muscle you are none the wiser.  Unless you can evaluate what you find, is it of real use?

      Thanks, Sarah

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