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"We're still in the first minutes of the first day of the Internet revolution." – Scott Cook

Michael Buckland’s Manifesto

Michael Buckland’s, “Redesigning Library Services: A Manifesto” seems to accurately predict the future of online, electronic resources probably much more than the author ever imagined.   I was really intrigued by the chapter titled “Bibliographic Access Reconsidered,” because the details and predictions were so specific and they turned out to be quite true.  A word that kept going through my mind while reading this chapter was “Worldcat.”  I know the OCLC Worldcat catalog was created in 1971, but the database that the author is describing in his chapter was created and published around 2003, I think.

Another amazing prediction for 1992 was the way the author described the ease and convenience of accessing an Electronic Library from a home workstation.  His prediction is remarkable because I remember what a home computer looked like in 1992 and I remember which library resources were available at home (none), except for maybe a text-based library catalog and a text-based database like Lexis-Nexis.  Most electronic resources were still on CDROMS and floppy disks at this time.  Buckland’s vision of the electronic resources is impressive.

Michael Buckland’s core message focuses more on principle than format.  He believes that libraries will always be a combination of both paper and electronic documents, but that in order for libraries to stay relevant and useful, the focus should remain on the function (service) and not the form (book format).  He believes this should be done in a careful, creative, and informed way. He feels that it is important to thoroughly understand new technology, but not to let it divert from the core purpose of libraries.

Link to Michael Buckland’s Manifesto:

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