Thursday, November 16, 2006

Will clicks replace bricks?

An article by Polina Aksamentova from the Binghamton University Pipe Dream (university newspaper) ponders the question "Will Web resources be the death of the Library?"

The article notes a 15% increase last year in questions asked at the library's reference desk, and includes a quote from the Information Commons coordinator, David Vose - "There's the constant debate, will clicks replace bricks? I don't see that ever happening...There's still the experience of the library. It's a social activity."

I hadn't heard the clicks and bricks phrase used in this sense before - had heard more in relationship to synergy between online and in-person shopping, or between a strong online presence and real-world success (e.g. this article from CIO), but I guess it makes sense in this context too.

Fortunately, the article does point out that the library serves important functions beyond that of study hall or meeting place, noting that the expertise and training provided by librarians.

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