by Jack Kessler, firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally published in French as Le visible et le virtuel: regards nouveaux sur les bibliothèques des États-Unis, in:
Bibliothécaire, quel métier? ed. Bertrand Calenge
(Paris : Electre-Éditions du Cercle de la Librairie, 2004) p. 257.
Collection Bibliothèques, ISBN 2-7654-0890-4, ISSN 0184-0886.
All this appears here as a feature of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which since 1992 has been distributed for free via email every month except August. Ejournal subscriptions may be obtained via email request to: email@example.com.
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by Jack Kessler, email@example.com -- September 1, 2003
"Do you have a book about horses?"
-- apocryphal, cornerstone of librarianship
The earliest recollection of a librarian, for most of us, is of the kindly soul who helped with our earliest personal searches for information. In the US, recently, the Internet and digital information have been the biggest news of this librarian generation. Nowadays the question being asked by many, in this digital information era, is whether that helpful librarian still will be there?
Great varieties of library service have developed. Librarians have specialized. In the US the 19th century saw the formation of professional groups for college and reference librarians, and for catalogers. By the end of the 20th century this had grown to include school, and technical services, and children's librarians -- there have been "cooperative library agencies" and "administrators and managers" and "information technology" librarians -- "public" and "reference" and "young adult" librarians have had their own concerns -- and there have been organizations for law librarians, and archivists, and others.
But now, in the 21st century, new ideas such as "digital libraries" and "personal digital assistants" have so extended the process of seeking information, that questions arise whether the traditional library, and librarian, might any longer be needed. The "paperless library" has been a much-discussed idea and, with it, the possibilities of non-mediated information -- or at least of information obtained, and used, without the immediate assistance of a human librarian.
The question, then, is whether there still is a need for the original -- is there a need, still, for someone to "help"? And should that someone be a "librarian"? There is acknowledgement of a new "digital" realm, of information and of behavior associated with it: digital information storage, search, retrieval, use. There also is worry that all this somehow is migrating, now, away from a more traditional era in which information, and information behavior, used physical containers: one of books, housed in physical places -- in libraries, managed by human librarians. The new digital reality seems to lack such physicality. A distinction has arisen, then, between the Visible and the Virtual: between an older association of information behavior with things which might be touched and felt and seen, and something more new which seems somehow more ephemeral.
The idea is a troubling one. Any idea so dramatic, and so complete, would be troubling. There are suspicions that the very drama indicates that this is not "the whole picture": that some of the old in fact will be retained alongside some of the new. And there are worries that "the baby will be thrown out with the bathwater": that some of the old which gets sacrificed one day will be sorely missed.
Whether librarianship is to be Visible or Virtual, then, is a question which might be examined more to illuminate new developments, and their relationships with older information handling practices, than to decide ultimate questions of what all this will look like going forward. There is much drama, in such questions, but there is more substance in simply considering them, before the historical and other events which ultimately will decide them have done their work. The best indicator of direction perhaps is the librarian -- that useful assistant, in that earliest search for information -- in a new era of "digital libraries" and "personal digital assistants", where might the human librarian fit in?
"In the absence of a paradigm or some candidate for paradigm, all the
facts that could possibly pertain to the development of a given science
are likely to seem equally relevant"
-- Thomas Kuhn
There needs to be a model. Thomas Kuhn's famous generalization about all of science can be applied to information science as to any other.
To understand a thing we must name it, and describe it, and differentiate it from other things. One great and growing challenge for librarians is that the nature of information itself has been rapidly changing. Traditional ideas, current for hundreds of years, have associated information with certain technologies: "information" used to make us think of printing, of books, of buildings and systems and procedures associated with same, of newspapers and magazines and production and distribution industries, and more recently of radio, motion pictures, television -- if you thought of "information" you thought of its container, of its "support" in the better phrase in French -- of where to find that container and how to use it.
Investigators most successful at showing this relationship have been those who have done so historically: examining how older media -- some no longer in use -- presented information, and how transitions occurred between one form of presentation and another. The interest in transitions in media -- between the oral tradition and the written, or the manuscript and the printed book, or now between the printed world and the digital -- has been considerable. At least since Victor Hugo observed, not so long ago, that an older world might be entirely transformed by such a transition in media -- "Ceci tuera cela" -- the world has been fascinated by the relationship between information and its "support".
Now that a new set of "digital" tools has been developed, the fascination continues. Perhaps a new revolution is under way, many wonder -- like the transition from "oral to written", or that from "written to print". There is an allure, in the historical analogy. It is critically important to remember, however, that handwriting did not disappear, in the era of print -- and that people still spoke, in eras thoroughly devoted to the written and the printed word. The historical message is a mixed one, at most: just as careful scientists do not delineate exactly where one paradigm ends and another begins, so careful historians hedge their bets about when old eras cease and new ones commence -- the ideas are fluid, and they are ideas only, reality being always more a matter of continuities and the overlapping of many ideas.
The dynamics, then, are what careful observers like Kuhn have been most concerned to emphasize: not the statics, of defining a paradigm and comparing it to others, of drawing distinctions and postulating definitions -- but the interplay, between one paradigmatic conception and another, that being the truly creative process by which such ideas arise.
This dynamic sense is something needed in modern discussions of "information". Information can be digital, and it can be in printed form -- or it can be written out by hand, or recalled from memory and recited orally, or for that matter recorded in a painting or on the facade of a great cathedral -- all of these are useful information resources, and none is entirely out of use even today.
New student, in the library: "What are all those big books?"
Librarian: "That is an encyclopedia..."
Student: "Wow, somebody printed out the whole thing?"
One key, to the dynamics of changing paradigms of information, comes from viewing information techniques as nothing more than "tools". "Tool" -- "any instrument of manual operation"... We think of our tools in terms of our hands: "manual" from the Latin "manus" for "hand" -- so, a thing which we can handle, or manipulate, to some end or purpose...
A distinction commonly drawn, about a "tool", is that it is not an "idea", which is instead a "general or ideal form as distinguished from its realization in individuals; archetype, pattern, plan, standard" -- ideas being things not associated with the hand, so much, as with the imagination -- not with manipulation but with thought, the latter being less a means to an end and, very often, the end in mind itself. One rarely speaks of a tool as being an end -- only a means to an end...
So, viewing digital technologies as "tools", we get the intriguing suggestion that these are things to be used -- to be useful, to be manipulated -- but not things which are ends in themselves. There is not a new set of human priorities here, then: rather simply a new set of instruments, for addressing -- hopefully better -- some of the very old human questions involved in all information queries, such as in our original library question here, "Do you have a book about..."
We have many new digital tools to consider, now, and other developments which rely upon them: computerization, and the Internet, and much of modern multimedia -- also questions of equal access, raised by the new techniques, and of Globalization and other such phenomena which might not possible but for digitization. The new digital tools have created much, or made possible the creation of much, for which we are poorly prepared: alienation, in the ability to disguise identities, which used to rely so greatly upon visual and other clues now no longer necessary or even possible, online -- "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog...", one canine sitting at a computer comments to another, in the famous cartoon -- and the loss of definition, so feared by Kuhn and other thinkers, in the massive and notorious "information overload" now deluging Internet users.
As Internet wits often warn, "When the only tool that you have is a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail...": the means/ends distinction, important to the proper use of any tool, became submerged in the initial Digital Era excitements. The Dotcom Bubble of the 2001 economic recession ruined many who had forgotten -- or never knew -- that business, in addition to being digital, also must be profitable. The library world too, adopting the new techniques, perhaps made many changes which confused ends with means, and now must reconsider and realign. The new digital tools are undeniably exciting -- but they do have their contexts, as any mere tools do.
Among these "contexts", of the digital revolution and its new information "tools", are some very old questions: some illuminated by the new techniques, others obscured -- some problems are solved, others become horribly more complex --
* Varieties of Needs -- The new tools answer an enormous variety of needs. The very enormity of this variety is one of the most dramatic developments. Few technologies have been this adept at providing such broad ranges of goods and services to such broad ranges of people. From Internet distance learning programs, to automobile smart chips, to healthcare delivery and greatly increased telecommunications capacity and global positioning systems, digital technology has revolutionized so much, for so many.
Other technologies have benefited far fewer, in far more limited ways. Printing helped those who could read -- and, eventually, those who could learn to read. The art of reading spread slowly. Neolithic agriculture developed only over time. The wonders of the railroad, telegraph, and Industrial Revolution, all were long-term social phenomena, and at first benefited only a few. Digital technology by contrast has exploded, all over the planet, in under a generation. Technologies offering varieties of applications, to varieties of people, broadly and efficiently and quickly: this has been the dream of many generations -- a dream realized by the digital era.
* The Digital Divide -- But the rich still get richer and the poor get poorer: as rapid as the spread of the new techniques has been, the advantage of being "first to market" is clear -- firms and nations and entire cultures which are slow to develop them may never be able to catch up. Again, though, this is more a matter of traditional comparative advantage than of anything inherent in the new tools: as Prebisch and Furtado taught the Third World so long ago, and as Stiglitz now is reminding us all, one person's "foreign investment" can be another's "exploitation".
* Censorship and Copyright and Privacy, the Control of Information -- And like perennial needs, and divisions between "haves" and "have-nots", modern issues of the control of digital information also have ancient origins in the non-digital. If the techniques of purveying and controlling information have changed, its legal and political and social and cultural issues are as old as history. Whenever there has been "information", in eras dominated by print technology or handwriting or oral traditions, there have been those who have wanted to censor it, or benefit more than others from its use, or keep it secret and otherwise control it.
* Fantasies of Empire, and of Global Market States -- And current fantasies, and fears, of the spread of digital information -- so important to the military and economic and political domination spoken of increasingly nowadays, in international relations -- likewise are part of older problems. From the latest recommendations for Empire, US American and other, to leading predictions of Global Market States, the spread and control of digital information is crucial. But information control was important to past empires, as well: the "Great Game" of British India, the watchtowers of China's emperors, Roman roads, the exhausted Phidippides who brought the news of Marathon to Athens -- all this too was "information", playing its crucial role in international relations.
* Access -- Throughout this long history, access to information has been the critical factor. Not quantity, and not even quality -- "information overload" has been with us since the first caveman saw a sabre- toothed tiger in the doorway of his cave. Distinctions of "bad" or "incomplete" information, as well, have been with us since society's beginnings. And many great decisions have been based on little real information, while those in possession of a great deal often have made very bad decisions, too. Most often, getting at least better information access, than a competitor or rival or enemy, has been the crucial thing: for establishing empires, for control or preventing control, for equalizing wealth and education and civil liberties, and for other needs, it has not been the information so much as gaining equal or "better" access to what there is of it -- access is the key.
Specialists in this are needed, to assist the rest of us: average people have many greater priorities which interfere -- families, careers, entertainment, relaxation, other concerns -- they have no time to understand how the information vehicle operates, they simply need to drive it. So the question becomes how best to assist the users, in this -- and what, and who, will do it.
Technology… brings you great gifts with one hand,
and it stabs you in the back with the other.
-- C.P. Snow
What provides the best access to information, then? Is it the technology? Or is it more a matter of the mood of the inquirer, or the intelligence, or the educational preparation, or the general receptivity? Or is it the quantity or quality of information available? Is it the container: the support, on which the information is encoded? Some people, still, "read" paintings, and music, and presumably cathedrals, more easily than they read books, after all... some people are better listeners than they are readers... and some neither read nor listen very well, still...
The technology certainly can be important. And it certainly has expanded and improved, since the first book issued from a printing press, and since the first parchment roll was inked, and since the first blind bard regaled others with formulaic tall tales at an ancient Greek festival. So perhaps the improved technology is a necessary cause, of the excitement over information of our 21st century: but is it sufficient -- is it enough to be technically proficient, to properly use the information which our sophistications now make available to us?
It was C.P. Snow's great insight that at least two sides exist to the modern intellect, scientific and literary. Snow did not feel that there were only two, or that they were opposed -- but he was concerned that social trends of his 20th century might slot all of us, too narrowly, into one or the other category.
Since Snow's mid-century formulation, others have elaborated. One by-product of the digital revolution has been an increased capacity for multi-factoral analysis: so now our library science has hundreds of subject classifications, where once there were only dozens -- and our economics and policy science and futurology and chaology have thousands of relevant considerations, where once there were only hundreds. From Snow's mere two, in 1959, we have developed many additional conceptual boxes into which we now categorize and classify modern intellectual things.
But these categorizations are too neat, as thinkers from Snow to Kuhn, and back to Aristotle and Socrates and before, have warned us. It is not just Kuhn's warning that "paradigms" are needed to organize information overload. It also is the very act of categorization, causing a problem: from Melvil Dewey to Eclaircissement typologies to Aristotle, the very labeling of our knowledge is an activity which itself conditions that knowledge.
The activity is reflexive, involving "methods that take into consideration the effect of the personality or presence of the researcher on the investigation" -- circular, even -- and it distracts us from the effects of change, upon the rigid categories which we assign. For example, a classification system providing ample room for "Protestant Religion" and not so much for "Catholicism", and little if any for Hinduism and other non-Christian beliefs, is ill-suited for a multicultural world; and a system which collects data by nation-state origins, and classifies and analyzes and presents it that way -- as many of our economic and social and political and even scientific databases still do -- is ill-prepared for an increasingly transnational world.
So now comes an exciting time of change, in the intellectual paradigms which help us to understand information. The temptation to slot all this into neat categories is great: nowhere more tempting than in our thinking as, and about, librarians -- for whom thinking about information is the stock in trade.
But in a multicultural society such as the US increasingly has become, the categories no longer are so neat, or so obvious: 1/3 of California's voters now are "Hispanic/Latino" -- and 1/2 of its people are "non-Caucasian", with rapidly increasing numbers of "Asians" among them. Such recent changes in its largest state make the US acutely aware now that our technology indeed has something to do with receptivity to information -- but only as do our social and cultural and political status, and our differing abilities to deal with text and various other information formats, and supports, and our immensely varied personal backgrounds and moods and interests.
And digital multimedia, and modern attitudes toward educational deprivation -- including physical conditions once considered crippling "handicaps" to the use of human intelligence -- are teaching us, even more, the truly immense varieties in which information can arrive, and be understood and used. We are just beginning to learn, in this.
So, how best to offer it? If dyslexics and paraplegics, nowadays, can learn not only to read but to function in society; if there is demand now not just for materials provided by one religion but by all of them; if the quantity as well as the quality of information have become so enormous as to be overwhelming; and if access to it via the Internet and other digital techniques appears to be in principle, at least, universal across the globe; how "best" to supply such access? How to develop and work with the "paradigms" necessary to our truly understanding our information?
The important thing to realize is that there is more than one way -- more than just two -- more than just a "Third Way" -- more than several. Just as there are many different types of users, there ought to be -- there must be -- many different types of media, and many different types of information. There is much talk now, for example, of the aforementioned "digital divide": of the yawning gap, it is said, between those who can "do digital" and those who for whatever reason cannot. The gap is deplored, but perhaps it ought to be celebrated: so much richer we are, perhaps, if we have at least two ways in which to obtain information -- the digital and the non- -- so that those of us more comfortable with one or the other may be allowed to choose... And perhaps the "digital divide" dichotomy ought to be multiplied, in fact: to provide even more choice to the users...
There is talk, too, of Global Cities, where face-to-face interactions among managers may take place, enabled by a capacity for face-to-faceless communication created elsewhere by digitization. Again, perhaps the critical issue is not so much choosing between the two but simply that the choice exists: some will live in these Global Cities, and some will live elsewhere, and yet all still may be able to obtain information...
And there is talk now of library buildings: the grand old centralized containers once thought necessary for the "books", which contained all of the "information" -- whether these will be necessary, any more. And again the point perhaps is that now there is a choice: public spaces may provide monumental libraries -- digital libraries, in digital public space, and brick-and-mortar physical buildings in our new Global Cities and elsewhere. Physical library buildings may no longer be exclusively necessary, but still will be one among several alternatives... So now the user who cannot use them still can obtain her information, and vice versa...
For that really is the ultimate question, going forward: the functional one -- how best can the user obtain her information? Like the fabled tree which fell unheard in the forest, information which cannot be used leads a questionable existence. The specialty of the librarian then, going forward, perhaps is best described as this -- assisting the user in obtaining her information -- just as it was originally, back when all the user knew how to do was to ask, "Do you have a book about horses?".
So many new tools, and resources, and user skills, have developed since. But functionally the question still is the same: the user still is trying to get her information. And she still can be helped by some kindly soul who can parse her question, suggest techniques and resources, assist her with search and retrieval and the construction of meaningful databases, represent her at the court of "information retrieval". And the librarian can conduct a true "reference interview", which sensitively and humanely will gauge that user's personal level of experience in using all the available tools, including but not just the sophisticated new ones. Assistance for some users, at least... if there is to be more than one way of obtaining access to information. One size does not fit all.
A universal user service, then, librarianship: the other aspects of digital information all are well- covered, from the design of computers to the building of networks to the construction of library buildings -- but the user still can use some help. Whether that help is rendered online or off-, or in the depths of a Global City or out in a wilderness, or using text which is oral or handwritten or printed or pixellated, the librarian's purpose is to help the user. That is a professional task which can, and will, "scale up", as the techniques themselves become more complex: if they keep their eye on the users, librarians need not become static, narrow and blinded by the new technologies like so many other professionals are -- becoming irrevocably wedded to some, in an information world in which things change constantly and quickly now. So the librarian has an important, in fact a crucial, role to play in helping users with information, whether information becomes visible or virtual.
: Lancaster, Frederick Wilfrid, Toward paperless information systems (New York : Academic Press, 1978) ISBN 0124360505; Lancaster, Frederick Wilfrid, and Laura Drasgow and Ellen Marks, The Impact of a paperless society on the research library of the future (Champaign-Urbana : Library Research Center, Graduate School of Library Science, University of Illinois, 1980).
: Kuhn, Thomas S., La structure des révolutions scientifiques (Paris : Flammarion, 1972), traduit de la 2ème édition américaine; Kuhn, Thomas S., The structure of scientific revolutions (Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1962) p. 15.
: Parry, Milman, The making of Homeric verse: the collected papers of Milman Parry (Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1971) ISBN 0198141815; Nagy, Gregory, La poésie en acte : Homère et autres chants (Paris : Belin, 2000) ISBN 2701124310, traduit de l'anglais par Jean Bouffartigue; Nagy, Gregory, Poetry as performance : Homer and beyond (Cambridge, England; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1996) ISBN 0521551358 (hard) 0521558484 (paper); Ong, Walter J., Orality and literacy : the technologizing of the word (London ; New York : Routledge, 1991) ISBN 041671370X (hard) 0415027969 (paper).
: Febvre, Lucien, et Henri-Jean Martin, L'apparition du livre (Paris : Editions Albin Michel, 1958); Eisenstein, Elizabeth L., La révolution de l'imprimé à l'aube de l'Europe moderne (Paris : Editions la Découverte, 1991) ISBN 2707120294, traduit de l'anglais par Maud Sissung et Marc Duchamp ; Eisenstein, Elizabeth L., The printing press as an agent of change : communications and cultural transformations in early modern Europe (Cambridge, England ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1979) ISBN 0521220440.
: McLuhan, Marshall, Pour comprendre les média : les prolongements technologiques de l'homme (Paris : Seuil, 1977) ISBN 202004594X, traduit de la 2ème édition anglaise par Jean Paré ; McLuhan, Marshall, Understanding media; the extensions of man (New York : McGraw-Hill, 1964); McKenzie, D. F. (Donald Francis), La bibliographie et la sociologie des textes (Paris : Editions du Cercle de la librairie, 1991) ISBN 2765404755, traduit de l'anglais par Marc Amfreville, préface de Roger Chartier; McKenzie, D. F. (Donald Francis), Bibliography and the sociology of texts (Cambridge, England ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1999) ISBN 0521642582 (hard) 052164495X (paper); Chartier, Roger, Culture écrite et société : l'ordre des livres : XIVe-XVIIIe siècle (Paris : Editions Albin Michel, 1996) ISBN 222608701X; Authier, Michel, et Pierre Levy, Les arbres de connaissances (Paris : Editions La Découverte, 1992) ISBN 2707121738.
: Hugo, Victor, Notre Dame de Paris (1831).
: Not the first astonishment ever expressed at a "transition in media" -- consider Martial, in the 1st century, marvelling at the new-fangled "parchment" compared to its papyrus predecessor --
Homer on parchment pages!
The Iliad and all the adventures
Of Ulysses, foe of Priam's kingdom!
All locked within a piece of skin
Folded into several little sheets!
-- Martial, Epigrammata, XIV: 184,
-- as cited in Manguel op. cit. infra n. :, p. 127.
: Oxford English Dictionary (2d edition 1989) -- http://80-dictionary.oed.com
: Oxford English Dictionary (2d edition 1989) -- http://80-dictionary.oed.com
: Manguel, Alberto, Une histoire de la lecture (Paris : le Grand livre du mois, 1998) ISBN 270281963X, traduit de l'anglais par Christine Le Boeuf; Manguel, Alberto, A history of reading (London : Viking Penguin, 1996) ISBN 0670843024.
: Childe, V. Gordon, La Naissance de la civilisation (Paris : Gonthier, 1963), traduction de Pierre-Henri Gonthier; Childe, V. Gordon, Man makes himself (London : Watts, 1937).
: Prebisch, Raoul. United Nations. Economic Commission for Latin America. The economic development of Latin America and its principal problems (Lake Success : United Nations Department of Economic Affairs, 1950), UN : E/CN.12/89/rev.1.
: Furtado, Celso, Développement et sous-développement (Paris : Presses universitaires de France, 1966); Furtado, Celso, Development and underdevelopment, translated by Ricardo W. de Aguiar and Eric Charles Drysdale (Berkeley : University of California Press, 1964).
: Bobbitt, Philip, The shield of Achilles : war, peace, and the course of history (New York : Knopf, 2002) ISBN 0375412921; Kagan, Donald, While America sleeps : self-delusion, military weakness, and the threat to peace today (New York : St. Martin's Press, 2000) ISBN 0312206240.
: Sassen, Saskia, La ville globale: New York, Londres, Tokyo (Paris : Descartes & Cie, 1996) ISBN 2910301451, traduit de l'américain par Denis-Armand Canal; Sassen, Saskia, The global city : New York, London, Tokyo (Princeton : Princeton University Press, 2001), 2nd edition, ISBN 0691078661 (hard), 0691070636 (paper).
: Kipling, Rudyard, Kim (1901).
"For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail."
-- English nursery rhyme
: Lewis, Anthony, "At Home Abroad: 'Dear Scoop Jackson:'" in The New York Times (March 15, 1971) East Coast Edition, p. 37.
: Snow, C. P. (Charles Percy), Les Deux cultures, suivies de Supplément aux Deux cultures? (Paris : J.-J. Pauvert, 1968), traduit de la 2ème édition anglaise par Claude Noël; Snow, C. P. (Charles Percy), The two cultures and the scientific revolution : the Rede lecture, 1959 (Cambridge, England : Cambridge University Press, 1959).
: Oxford English Dictionary (2d edition 1989) -- http://80-dictionary.oed.com
: Transnational relations and world politics, editors Robert O. Keohane and Joseph S. Nye, Jr. (Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 1972) ISBN 0674904818.
: http://www.ca.gov -- "California Facts > California Demographics".
: http://www.cilberkeley.org/ : "The Center for Independent Living (CIL) is a national leader in helping people with disabilities live independently and become productive, fully participating members of society. The staff and board, most of whom have disabilities, are strongly committed to supporting others in their efforts towards self sufficiency..."
http://www.edrobertscampus.org/CTP.html : "[The Computer Technologies Program's] CTP's mission is to increase employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities by providing training in information technologies and partnering with the business and rehabilitiation communities."
: Google Web Directory -- June 5, 2003 -- http://www.google.com -- Society > Religion and Spirituality (113,802 entries)...
: http://www.lse.ac.uk/Giddens/ThirdWayCriticsPR.htm; http://www.ndol.org
: see Sassen, La ville globale / The Global City, op cit. supra n. ; see also anthropologist Laura Nader, "the growing gap between producers and consumers in our industrial society which is based on face-to-faceless economic relationships", Public Broadcasting Associates, Little injustices : Laura Nader looks at the law (Boston : PBS Video, 1981), [video], http://www.der.org/films/little-injustices.html
: Melot, Michel, et alia, Nouvelles Alexandries : les grands chantiers de bibliothèques dans le monde (Paris : Editions du Cercle de la Librairie, 1996) ISBN 2765406197.
: Habermas, Jürgen, L'espace public : archéologie de la publicité comme dimension constitutive de la société bourgeoise (Paris : Payot, 1978) ISBN 2228521809, traduit de l'allemand, Strukturwandel der Offentlichkeit, par Marc B. de Launay; Davis, Mike, City of quartz : Los Angeles, capitale du futur (Paris : Editions la Découverte, 1997) ISBN 2707127698, traduit de l'anglais par Michel Dartevelle et Marc Saint-Upéry; Davis, Mike, City of quartz : excavating the future in Los Angeles (London ; New York : Verso, 1990) ISBN 0860913031; Violich, Francis, The bridge to Dalmatia : a search for the meaning of place (Baltimore, Maryland : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998) ISBN 0801855543.
: Ross, Catherine Sheldrick, et alia, Conducting the reference interview : a how-to-do-it manual for librarians (New York : Neal-Schuman, 2002) ISBN 1555704328; Reference services today : from interview to burnout, editors Bill Katz and Ruth A. Fraley (New York : Haworth Press, 1986); Jennerich, Elaine Zaremba, The reference interview as a creative art (Englewood, Colorado : Libraries Unlimited, 1997), 2d edition, ISBN 156308466X.
: Sloan, Bernie, Digital Reference Services Bibliography (Urbana-Champaign : University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, last updated August 27, 2003), mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org, http://alexia.lis.uiuc.edu/~b-sloan/digiref.html
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