Can the internet substitute for library searches?

Rob Alba robalba at DOGWOOD.BOTANY.UGA.EDU
Sat Oct 5 11:47:34 EST 1996

I find myself a bit concerned about a trend I am seeing more and more
frequently on the discussion lists I subscribe to.  What I
notice happening is students sending very basic "topical" queries to
appropriate discussion lists in place of (I believe) the "old fashion"
library search. 

I guess I have 4 questions:  First, have others noticed such a trend?
Second, assuming this trend exists, do you think the value of getting
students to use the internet for research purposes sufficiently great
enough to risk a decrease in our future students' ability to use library
resources efficiently/effectively?  Obviously, in the best of all worlds,
students should be using both types of resources to produce quality work
and meet their assignment objectives.  Thus, my third question is this:
How does one successfully convey to students the value of using the
internet without (mis)leading them to believe that libraries are no longer
essential? My fouth question is tangential:  Do you think the internet
will eventually make libraries obsolete?

Any thoughts or discussion you have regarding these questions (or their
inherant assumptions) would be most welcome.  I would very much like to
to hear both instructors' and students' views on this topic and my

Rob Alba
Department of Botany
The University of Georgia

robalba at

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