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LIS: Writing About What Works?

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This little aside in a review from Judith Seiss caught my attention recently:

Tales of Technology Innovation Gone Wrong, by Mary Mallery. – It is very unusual for anyone to write about what didn’t work, but Mallery has put together a list of failures that we can learn from. She even says, “technology is not the best solution for every problem in a library”—what a concept! There are good sidebars on issues to consider before and after innovating. Well worth a read. – Computers in Libraries 28(4):22-25, April 2008

Is it true? Do LIS writers usually report what works? Without more than an occasional comment from a peer or two and my own sense of the literature to back me up, I think so. If true, why? Why does LIS literature (if Seiss is correct) lean toward to the positive? The how-we-done-it-right articles? Tenure? Job security? Some urge to prove to one’s budget minders that the librarian’s work is worth it? More importantly, if this assessment is accurate, is this a healthy paradigm for the discipline?

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Written by Jere

April 24, 2008 at 11:52 pm

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