ERIC Number: EJ867721
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 0
I Am Not Captain Dunsel! A (Former) Head of an Academic Branch Library Replies to Steven Bell
Redalje, Susanne J.
Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, n59 Fall 2009
For those unfamiliar with Star Trek, "Dunsel" was a term introduced in the episode titled "The Ultimate Computer." It is a term used by Star Fleet cadets to refer to an entity that serves no useful purpose, in this case a human who has been replaced by a machine. The episode touches on finding the best balance between human and machine to run a complex system and explore the universe, or, in this case, to help users explore their information universe. In a recent piece in the "LJ Newswire" (October 22, 2009), Steven Bell, Associate University Librarian at Temple University, pretty much declares academic special libraries to be useless entities, which may be remembered fondly in the future but not miss. In this article, the author explains how she was rather dismayed by this attitude, though not surprised. As Bell points out, closing branches has become a trend. Is it a good trend? Is it a necessary trend? Is it good for the users? Time will tell. In this brief commentary, the author uses her personal experience to explore these questions and respond to Bell's article.
Descriptors: Special Libraries, Reader Response, Academic Libraries, Specialization, Influence of Technology, Program Termination, Trend Analysis
Science and Technology Section, Association of College and Research Libraries. 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611. Web site: http://www.istl.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A