January 28, 2022

Canada: Head Librarian Leads Digital Revolution at University of Victoria

From The Victoria Times Colonist:

[University Librarian Jonathan] Bengtson said there are two primary and enduring purposes of libraries: preservation and access. He said that when materials are digitized, the paper-based originals are kept and preserved, but there are still questions about how to preserve electronic or digitized objects.

“That’s a whole issue right now in libraries. Because so much information … is now being produced in so many different places, it’s a matter of, ‘What do we preserve and how do we provide access to it?’

“We’re in this hybrid space right now.” Bengtson noted that things have changed drastically since his own university days began in the pre-Internet mid1980s, when research involved using the card catalogue.

The changes are, if anything, increasing the vibrancy of the library’s role, Bengtson said.

“I’m absolutely convinced that we’re about to enter a Golden Age for libraries. Libraries are positioned as never before, and it’s taken thousands of years of history to have a much more direct and interactive relationship with the learning process and the research process.

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* Bengstom became University Librarian at the University of Victoria earlier this year.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.