Desk Set

While I had never seen the 1957 classic Desk Set with Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, I had heard that it was an excellent classic.  Aside from my wanting to BE Katherine Hepburn, I would agree that it is worth watching at least once.  I found it interesting that a lot of what was addressed and specific things that were said in the movie are issues within the library science field still today.  The ever-changing world of technology affects us all, but how does it affect information science and professionals working in the field?  I’ve been reading a lot for my classes about technology and I’m also IN a technology course (gasp) in order to ensure that I have the skills necessary to use technology to help people efficiently find and gather information eventually.  While I was watching the movie I noted a few quotes that were relevant to my own thoughts on technology, library science and librarianship.

“Well now, that term is a bit obsolete now.”  This quote reminds me of how fast technology changes and how quickly one element or term can become “obsolete”.  Newspapers have been said to be obsolete thanks to the internet.  Books have been speculated to become obsolete thanks to kindle (gross.) And a computer from 5 years ago is DEFINITELY obsolete.

The movie kept referencing the “Electronic Brain”.  As a society we rely on technology such as computers and smart phones for simple tasks that were once a bit more time consuming, but required skill and brain power.  Do machines make people lazy or uninformed? I’m not sure I would say so, but I do think that our knowledge can easily become limited to “operational” knowledge instead of content and context.  I think it is very important to always understand context when searching for information and using it properly.

“Well it was hard enough getting this job and i want to keep it!”  In an earlier post I wrote about how few jobs there are in certain areas within the field of librarianship, but I forgot to mention how competitive this field is becoming.  It is a HUGE trend right now to pursue library science, though I often get asked, “Library science? Isn’t that a dying profession?”.  If it is, then a lot of people are committing career suicide by trying to hold onto it.  I highly doubt that in my life time libraries will cease to exist.  They will change, however.  Libraries will evolve into what society needs them to be and some may not survive drastic changes, but there will always be a need for information organization and accessibility.  The movie ends on a hopeful note where technology actually increases the need for more research and more librarians.  But, they must be proficient in librarianship as well, we cannot leave it to machines.

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