Today's Big Stories

Are public libraries threatened by the internet age?

Gone are the days of walking into old library buildings and searches using the daunting Dewey Decimal System.

With information at the tip of your touch screen mobile device, is there still an incentive to read traditional academic texts?

Professor Johannes Cronje, Dean in the Faculty of Informatics and Design at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), wrote a tongue-in-cheek academic paper titled Why I don't use the library.

According to Cronje, the printing and physical publication of academic information does not happen at a rapid enough rate to keep up with the digital space.

There are still plenty of people who need warm, dry and safe spaces with free internet. But by the time anything hits the library shelves, its already outdated.

Professor Johannes Cronje, Dean in the Faculty of Informatics and Design at CPUT

Cronje says that despite having access to information from search engines such as Google, some information on the internet is not credible and requires triangulation.

He says academics are moving towards publishing 'listicles' online, a combination of bit-size points with academic knowledge.

Though he does not visit libraries that much, Cronje says that he still relies on librarians for help because they are information consultants.

Listen to the full conversation from CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies:


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