Doctorow Nailed It!

Just finished reading Cory Doctorow’s “Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom“, and near the end of the book, he says,

“Us old-timers, we’re used to thinking of doctors as highly trained professionals …. Truth is, the average doc today gets more training in bedside manner than bioscience. ‘Doctor’ Pete is a technician, not an MD, not the way you and I mean it.”

Substitute “librarian” for “doctor” and you have the current discussion about my profession in a nutshell. We’ve all become technicians, helping people more with the mechanics of extracting information from our increasingly electronic sources and less with the research skills that allow them to know where to look.

My training is analog; my interests are digital. I’m proud of my research skill, of being able to take a reference book and examine the table of contents and index to determine if it has the information wanted; but it sure is convenient to type a keyword in the search box and get a result set with clickable links!


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