Net Effects: How Librarians Can Manage the Unintended Consequences of the Internet

Susan Cleyle (Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John's, Canada)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 1 June 2004




Cleyle, S. (2004), "Net Effects: How Librarians Can Manage the Unintended Consequences of the Internet", The Electronic Library, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 285-285.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

It is not very often that a book comes along that resonates with every librarian in the field. Net Effects is just such a book. Marylaine Block has gathered together some very insightful names in our field to tackle the topic of the Web and how it has changed our professional lives. Others have tackled this before but Block's book takes a unique approach. Divided into ten chapters, each poses a challenge caused by the Net. Contributors propose solutions using their own experiences, theories or sage advice taken from their wealth of knowledge in the area. Block selected the articles for inclusion and she herself provided many solutions. With her practical and insightful views, Block adds many valuable ideas to the book.

Chapters include:

  • Regaining control over selection.

  • Rescuing the book.

  • Making them adapt to us: training the user.

  • The shifted librarian: adapting to the changing expectations of our wired (and wireless) users.

  • Access issues.

  • Running to stay in place: continuous retraining.

  • Up to our ears in lawyers: legal issues posed by the Net.

  • Disappearing data.

  • How to avoid getting blind‐sided.

All articles in this book are keepers. They are well written, to the point and not full of jargon. Articles like that in chapter 4 by Jeanne Holba Puacz who discusses the competitive sport of catching and keeping our e‐patrons, or Rachel Singer Gordon, who in chapter 6 provides a step‐by‐step training outline for libraries who wish to train their own systems librarians. These are just two examples of interesting topics presented to help libraries combat the outcomes that have emerged as a result of the Internet. Some discussions look at the issues from new perspectives while others write about familiar solutions. But all articles are practical and offer viable options and choices.

Net Effects is not a book that needs to be read from front to back. Readers can use this title as a resource when a problem arises. It is indexed and includes e‐mail addresses for many of the contributors allowing the reader to follow up on any given solution. Links from each chapter are collected at the back of the book for easy reference and each chapter has its own recommended readings.

This book is a real joy to read. It is provocative, challenging and useful. Not to be missed by anyone in our profession, from administrator to line librarian, this book is highly recommended. Well done!

Related articles