at The Evergreen State College


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Technology is a crafter and enabler, shaping how humans believe they can interact with the world and providing means to engage in ways not possible without it. Tools in all forms indicate limitation in usability, such as how a table saw is only used to cut wood pieces into smaller wood pieces, as well as empowered options, such as how a wooden post can be a weapon, a lever, a fence...

Electronic technology in particular plays into this trap, where we believe that the Internet is limitless in its ability to hold and transmit information. Then we box ourselves in by dictating how that information is presented, often in formats that translate sufficiently well into analog media (printed paper copies, CDs/vinyl, film strips). One might think of the Internet as a haphazard repository of data that we may want to preserve in a tangible form later, such as when your mom insists on printing out e-mails (like postal mail).

This duality is a divisive factor when deciding how technology fits in the traditional library. Libraries insist that they are a permanent collection of worthwhile analog media, mainly in book, CD,vinyl, DVD, and VHS formats, mostly in ratios dependent on funding. What is a library's real purpose today? To hold on to these materials? Or does that fall into archiving? To collect new materials and try to fit them in with the older ones, which I believe is what most libraries are still doing? Or are they moving towards acting as a tangible, physical search engine? They try to stay on top of the new, even less tangible technologies. Information is continually more remotely accessible. The book is no longer only sitting on the shelf, it is stored as bits in a server somewhere waiting for someone with a compatible reading device to call its files up from the ether.

Pages in category "Technology"

The following 9 pages are in this category, out of 9 total.




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