Gorman Redux

Monday, November 7th 2005

Over at the Librarian in Black, we have an account of Michael Gorman’s address to the California Library Association.

I don’t quite know how to react to Mr. Gorman anymore. Statements like “any idiot can design a web page” (in questioning why library schools teach tech classes) are just so blatantly incomplete and distressing. ‘Any idiot’ can also paint a painting, write a book, or do any number of other creative tasks. That doesn’t mean the end result is of high standards, or even legible. Shouldn’t that be obvious? Maybe someday these tech skills will be covered in everybody’s undergrad or high school classes, and Library Science degrees can drop the tech a bit. But we’re a long way from that point.

I suppose we should all just give up on technology, go back to the card catalog, and wait for the asteroid to wipe us out. Every time I read something about Gorman, I’m reminded of the professors at work who tell their students they “are not allowed to use any internet resources”. This despite the fact that we offer over two hundred and fifty legitimate, academic online databases. But, a rant for another time.

Unfortunately, Gorman didn’t stay to take any questions. As one of the commenters asked on LiB, I’d love to know how the audience as a whole reacted.

07. November 2005 by Chad Haefele
Categories: General, Libraries/Info Sci, Tech | 1 comment