Via Stephen Downes, a link to a Dave Pollard post on 12 Tools That Will Soon Go the Way of Faxes and CDs. The list is fairly ho hum and obviously a bit tongue in cheek, but technology number 7 caught my eye.
Corporate Libraries and Purchased Content: The only people who really care about taxonomy and boolean search are librarians, and unfortunately they usually don't know enough about their employer's business to know what to do with the esoterica that requires such tools anyway. With luck, they'll learn the employer's business and morph into subject matter specialists, producing real research and analysis and adding meaning and value to information. But they won't need a proprietary library for that. Nor will they have to pay for the content they add value to much longer. "Information is always trying to be free", as Marshall McLuhan said a half-century ago. And they won't sell their research and analysis either: They'll give it to colleagues to use first, and later they'll give it away to clients to show how smart they (and their employers) are.
So, IANAL (a librarian in this case, though I am rather fond of some of them) but it does occur to me:
a. I dont care about taxonomy and Boolean searches but I do care that they help me find what I need and want to find much more quickly and effectively and
b. Most of the librarians I know (and I know some rather well) actually do do a lot of research, really good research and by so doing "add meaning and value to information."
c. Librarians were fighting about access to information long before many johnny-come-lately It and journalist types were. And they'll probably continue fighting longer.
I could go on......