Introduction to Digital Humanities

RELI/ENGL 39, Fall 2015, University of the Pacific

The Return of the Library.

I thought it was pretty obvious that libraries are very important and play a critical role in humanities. Since we use humanities to understand and document our world it is clear that we need libraries in order to do so.  In Jermon’s paper he talks about how it would be difficult to have to digitalize all archives in libraries. I think it is crazy how we are starting to digitalize everything now a days. Even books now have an electronic version. The next thing you know everything will be digital. Good old fashioned libraries are no longer the same because even library data and archives are becoming electronically digitalized. I guess it does have its benefits but I myself like to keep things simple. The author talks about how it is not always helpful and beneficial because it ends up benefiting “minor” writers instead of the real writers and scholars which I can definitely see. He talks about how endless educational possibilities will emerge and soon be exploited by electronically needed things such as email. I am pretty sure almost every university uses email for instructional reasons for students and professors.

The other author of our other reading Amy was more in favor of the technological changes and advances. She mentioned how it made things so much easier for her as a professor and how she was able to share important text and readings with her students without all the extra complications. She even argued that the information was way better in quality than actual paper hard copies can be sometimes. Honestly I find using the good old fashioned library just as efficient.

4 Comments

  1. I definitely agree, people nowadays rely heavily on their digital technologies that they feel like they have no need for going to the library. It is often useful to go to the library every once in a while in order to not lose ourselves in the digital world and be beneficial for some writers and scholars.

  2. I enjoyed your post because I also agree that archiving resources from libraries will not benefit individuals. Libraries have the most ideal learning environment because each individual will be able to find textbooks, articles and documents by asking librarians for help. Scholars often can save a significant amount of time when they go to libraries because librarians will be able to use their resources to guide them find important information about their researches. I think it is true that visiting libraries makes individuals as efficient because libraries could help stimulate individuals’ learning process and increase productivities.

  3. I agree that libraries play a huge role in academics, being the main source of information, and a very helpful one at that. I also agree that there are also many limitations to digitizing texts. However, how many people use the library nowadays to look up information? I am not doubting the library’s usefulness, and surely, the number of people who use the library is not a few in the older generation. However, it is likely that most of the newer generation prefers the swifter and more efficient method of looking up information on the internet. Not only can works be filtered, research can also be done at any time per a person’s convenience. That is perhaps the reason why e-mail is also used profusely, as it gives students and teachers a greater access to each other. As for minor writers receiving the benefit, I’d have to say that it is not a bad thing. Some of the more obscure writers are just as impressive in their work as mainstream authors. I will also counter the fact that mainstream authors are more likely to be printed than digitized. From my experience, a person is more likely to encounter a mainstream author’s work more so than a minor author, despite the mainstream author’s work frequently being printed. It is exactly because the author is popular that his or her work is constantly posted online. I do admit that the internet does remove, as our reading explains, “the front
    and back matter of the books in its corpus of texts,” which causes readers to lose out on information. That would certainly be a con. But, at least the text is readily accessible.

  4. I like the stance you’ve taken on the issue of digitizing libraries. I think you made a lot of good points about how inconvenient it can actually be to use an online archive versus simply going to the library to research. The whole idea of digitizing books is something that personally rubs me the wrong way, and I can tell it does for you, too. Whereas, yes, it’s easier to access things if they’re posted online somewhere, not everything is available on the Internet, even if it seems that way. You nodded to Jermon’s point that most of what’s available online is by “minor” writers, and that doesn’t really help anyone if they’re trying to do work involving more famous authors. There are pros and cons to both Internet archives and libraries, but I think it’s important to realize what we might be sacrificing when we turn to the “convenience” of the Internet for our reading.

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