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Herbert S. White (Dean, School of Library and Information Science Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana)

The Bottom Line

ISSN: 0888-045X

Article publication date: 1 April 1991



As a profession we argue endlessly about the quality of our activities in providing information. From my background as an educator, practicing librarian, and corporate official, I have concluded that while obviously the quality of the service we provide varies with the abilities of the specific librarian, on balance what we do is cost effective. This must be evaluated with the recognition that there is much in the recent literature, both business and general, to suggest that the availability of information is important, both for decision making and for quality of life. Protagonists such as Daniel Bell and international corporations like AT&T and IBM have convinced all citizens that information is vital. Just to make the point obvious, there is no visible group that champions ignorance as a desired way of life, or as a desirable mechanism for making decisions. The importance of information, and its value in providing for its disseminators a greater level of prestige and remuneration, is now clearly understood both by MBA and computer science education graduates, who have concluded that they are, after all this time, suddenly “information professionals.” Those of us who have observed the development of these people do know better, but that knowledge will not serve us if we are the only ones who posses it.


White, H.S. (1991), "HIDING THE COST OF INFORMATION", The Bottom Line, Vol. 4 No. 4, pp. 14-19.




Copyright © 1991, MCB UP Limited

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