I ran with Sue O'Dell, Science librarian at Bowdoin, today. She is always two steps ahead of me. I was interested to hear her say that Bowdoin automatically adds links to library resources and services in every Blackboard course at the college and librarians have instructor level access to all Blackboard courses. If the faculty member wants them to the librarians also add far more information up to course level research guides using LibGuides. Cool.
I spent time in the exhibits today. SerialsSolutions, OCLC (I wrote about those earlier.) Also Digital Commons as an alternative institutional repository platform. Quite impressive, but not cheap.
I spend a lot of time thinking about the digital library, but a couple of incidents gave me pause. First, I went out looking for the Sunday issue of the LA Times yesterday. Everywhere I looked seemed to have run out. If the paper newspaper is a dinosaur, why can't I find a copy? Then, as I wandered through the exhibits there was plenty of space until I suddenly found myself surrounded by thousands of librarians. I looked up and noticed I was in the book aisle, surrounded by the big publishers. Again, if the library of the 21st century is digital, why was this aisle the most crowded?
There could be any number of answers. Librarians are still clinging to outmoded technologies of print. Books purchases are small and many, digital purchases are big and few so librarians cluster in the book aisle. Or (most likely) both were both pure chance.
Anyway, it's fun to speculate.