Library Trends 47 (4) Spring 1999: Human Response to Library Technology


Library Trends 47 (4) Spring 1999: Human Response to Library Technology. Edited by Janice J. Kirkland and Michael Gorman.

Libraries are responsible for gathering, selecting, organizing, disseminating, and preserving recorded knowledge and information in all forms and for providing assistance and instruction in their use. Is technology, as some allege, going to make some of these tasks unnecessary and others solely the result of interaction between individuals and machines? In short, will electronic technology supplant all other means of communication of words, images, and symbols, and will libraries and librarians reside only in the faded memories of the old?

There is a continuing need to examine frequently how technology in libraries is affecting human beings, how it affects the surviving work of persons now gone who contributed to the record of civilization, and how it affects persons now living who are the record’s caretakers. With that end in mind, the editors have here assembled a collection of eleven articles expressing a variety of views of the human response to library technology. This issue builds on a similar issue of Library Trends published a decade ago, in Spring 1989; it also includes two articles that revisit themes of 1989, and it includes under the title “Ten Years Later” short updating comments by the authors of three other articles that appeared in the 1989 issue.

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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