Monday, February 15, 2010

No More Books?

Chapter 4 of Paul Levinson's New New Media focuses on Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia teachers seem to hate most. I suprisingly found the debate over the use and reliability less interesting than the question Levinson asks of "Does Wikipedia make libraries unnecessary?" The answer from the book seems to be, "Not yet."

However, I would have focused on how it isn't Wikipedia making the case against books, but the internet. There is an increasing availability for entire books, excerpts, and information from books online. Teachers are copying things on to Electronic Reserve for students to read on the computer or print out instead of buying the books, and Google and search engines are encyclopedias themselves. I agree that books aren't in danger, and they very well may never be, but it isn't Wikipedia that is their problem,


  1. I quite agree with you on this point, Wikipedia only challenges the reference library, and it's GoogleBooks in particular that has been a challenge to libraries, and the book publishing industry.

  2. I also agree with you that Wikipedia doesn’t pose as much of a threat as resources such as GoogleBooks. Wikipedia is very useful as a starting point for research, as mentioned in previous posts. It can be used to find other relevant books on the subject. However, some of these texts are not made available through Wikipedia but rather GoogleBooks and other similar resources. Finally, I definitely agree that books aren’t in danger and will most likely never be.

  3. I Agree as well. Just think, if the Internet hadn't evolved as much as it has in the past 15 years, then libraries, encyclopedias, etc. would still dominate academic research.