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Browsing

Browsing as Problem

I have long been fond of a 2010 article in American Libraries by Donald Barclay entitled “The Myth of Browsing.” Writing in reaction to faculty opposition to offsite storage of books and journals, Barclay pointed out that open stacks date back only to about 1940. He reminded readers that browsers are perusing whatever small segment of the information universe is owned by their library, that books can be shelved in only one place even if they cover many topics or perspectives, and that the most … [Read more...]