In what instances would you choose to use standard library research rather than online sources?

In what instances would you choose to use standard library research rather than online sources (besides when your computer crashes or you don't have internet access!)?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Until Google digitizes and makes available for free - which will be never - all books, then I would use book sources for historical background on many topics, for instance bios from Who's Who are more reliable than Wikipedia and more inclusive as well.

    However, what makes you equate "standard library" exclusively with printed media? Most libraries now support "Virtual Branches" that give you access to chat reference, 24 hour answers by experienced librarian, pay databases, and book reviews by people in your own community.

    Of course, you could use Yahoo Answers, Wikipedia, and Twitter for your research since those do "compete" with libraries, and much more than half of the time their answers are correct, but when they're wrong, will you know it?

    Al Lewis (Grampa Munster) is a great example of how people get suckered into passing misinformation. Before he died and people researched it, Wikipedia had his birth listed as 1910, and many journalists, for instance Time Magazine, relying on wiki, reported that date in his obituaries. The people writing copy on Wikipedia might have read it in "Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television, Volume 26" or "Who's Who in Hollywood" both reliable print resources a librarian would provide you. Of course, it was Lewis himself who provided this misinformation for many years. Being a person who'd poke fun at academics, I'm sure he's laughing at us all right now.

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