Not so long ago, students had to wander down rows and rows of dusty stacks in the library just to find the information they need for papers and school assignments. And every time, card catalogs were there to point where certain books are located thus making it easier to locate books from the enormous collection.
But now that the World Wide Web has replaced the role of libraries in our lives, have library cards become a thing of the past? If you will conduct a random survey among high school and college students, you will most probably meet quite a remarkable number who are no longer familiar about what a library card looks like and, more so, how they function. Students today can already complete their thesis and research works without even opening a textbook or paying a visit to the library in the campus.
Information literacy had never been easy to achieve but the internet has provided a solution to this challenge. However, the problem lies in the fact that not all information you can get from websites are certified true and correct like what you can get from history books sitting somewhere in one of the shelves of traditional libraries. Moreover, there is no way of telling whether the information you got from the website you chose randomly from search results was written by a 12-year old. So reliability is sometimes a big question when you use online sources.
As for the question – Are we about to bid library cards goodbye? The answer still remains largely dependent on how traditional libraries will embrace the trend of today’s digital world. Computerized versions of library cards may be implemented in modernized libraries but, most certainly, centuries old libraries like Yale or Harvard would find it heart-wrenching to say goodbye to the collection of library cards that they have amassed through the years.
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