Library Trends 37 (4) Spring 1989: The Human Response to Library Automation


Library Trends 37 (4) Spring 1989: The Human Response to Library Automation. Edited by Janice Kirkland.

The subject of this issue is how people - meaning those who use libraries, who work in libraries, and who manage libraries - are reacting to the introduction and growth of automation. It is a subject which needs careful scrutiny, because automation radically alters that access to information which is a library’s raison d’etre, and can also radically alter quality of work life for those who devote their careers to providing such access. We need to ensure that the impact of technology on both access and people is primarily a positive one. In the articles in this issue of Library Trends, the contributors explore the question of the human response in both formal and informal terms, and in general and specific contexts.

If there is a consensus among the articles in this issue, it seems to be that people in libraries are adapting to automation but are feeling the stress of change as they do so, and that in many cases they are aware of responses which are needed but which have not yet materialized, especially in the areas of increased participation and communication. It is the editor’s hope that this issue will serve as one means of providing such communication and will assist with successful responses to library automation.

Library Trends (ISSN 0024-2594) is an essential tool for librarians and educators alike. Each issue thoroughly explores a current topic of interest in professional librarianship and includes practical applications, thorough analyses, and literature reviews. The journal is published quarterly for the Graduate School of Library and Information Science by The Johns Hopkins University Press. For subscription information, call 800-548-1784 (410-516-6987 outside the U.S. and Canada), email jlorder [at], or visit

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