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Thank you Dr. Cox, well said!

Earl Johnson, Jr.
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--- Original Message ---
From: Richard Cox <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject:      Re: Paper and The New Yorker

>Steven D. Whitaker writes, "A sad commentary about
our profession is that
>a lot of RM folks don't want to change; they like
paper and are very
>resistant.  Old habits, fears, and insecurities, no
doubt. The paperless
>office is not a myth; it is a real possibility.  It
does take commitment."
>
>A more poignant point is that any technology is the
result of cultural,
>economic, political, and other factors, not just the
feasibility of the
>technologies themselves.  There are moral, ethical,
legal, and other
>factors to be considered.  Part of the responsibility
of the records
>professional is in understanding the nature and
purpose of records and
>recordkeeping systems, and being perceptive about
when digital and paper
>approaches are called for or feasible.  History
suggests that there
>continues to be a role for paper, especially as the
predictions of the
>paperless office are now more than thirty years old.
Calling those who
>understand the persistent role of paper in modern
society technophobes is
>a favorite means by which to dismiss them, but since
the responsibilities
>of archivists and records managers include a spectrum
of roles from
>administering to preserving records - including
dealing with the very
>large legacy of paper systems - it is a not very
useful approach.  Yes,
>some resist change.  However, some also embrace
change and technocratic
>solutions too glibly and often with poor results.  I
write this merely as
>a word of caution.
>
>
>Richard J. Cox
>Professor
>Department of Library and Information Sciences
>School of Information Sciences
>University of Pittsburgh
>Pittsburgh, PA 15260
>Voice:  412-624-3245
>FAX:    412-648-7001
>e-mail: [log in to unmask]
>homepage: http://www.lis.pitt.edu/~rjc
>
>
>On Wed, 20 Mar 2002, Steven Whitaker wrote:
>
>> I read the article.  What a bunch of hogwash,
social science baloney, and  excuses for not wanting
to change.  Even the examples they use are flawed.
>> Crash go the chariots!
>>
>> The reason the sale and use of paper has risen is
because now just about everybody has one, or more,
computers, and now EVERYBODY creates information.  98%
of all information created in the western world is
created electronically on PCs, computer systems and
applications, and via data acquisition devices.  And,
a certain percentage of people still have the anal
retentive HABIT of printing.
>>
>> There is one million times more information in the
world now than 20 years ago.  If the use of printing
paper has increased 15X in the past five years, then
that stat very strongly indicates that the percentage
of total information available that was printed to
paper has dropped very significantly.  The author who
wrote the article, and the ...genius academicians ...
who wrote the books did not mention this fact.  I
wonder if they are not intelligent enough to recognize
it, or perhaps it merely does not support their
agenda...., or pre-set conclusion.
>>
>> A sad commentary about our profession is that a lot
of RM folks don't want to change; they like paper and
are very resistant.  Old habits, fears, and
insecurities, no doubt.
>>
>> The paperless office is not a myth; it is a real
possibility.  It does take  commitment.
>>
>> Best regards, Steve
>> Steven D. Whitaker, CRM
>>
>> >>> Elizabeth Meylor <[log in to unmask]> 03/20/02
02:08PM >>>
>> I received this reference via the SOLOLIB-L
listserv and thought you
>> might be interested in seeing it also.  I have also
scanned the article
>> but it deals with paper and the myth of the
paperless office.
>>
>> Thanks, Michelle, for the notice.
>>
>> Elizabeth Meylor
>> Hammel Green and Abrahamson, Inc.
>> Minneapolis, MN 55401
>> [log in to unmask]
>>
>> From:  [log in to unmask]
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Date:  3/20/02 3:29PM
>> Subject:  The illusory advantage of digitizing
[sic] documents
>>
>> Hi there
>>
>> For those info shufflers out there (myself
included) - you may be
>> interested
>> to read the following article from the New Yorker.
Dear old Dewey even
>> gets
>> a mention (says the librarian fondly, ho ho).
>>
>> Michelle Burrell
>> Information Analyst
>> Ministry of Housing
>>
>> > <http://www.newyorker.com/printable/?
critics/020325crbo_books>
>>
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>
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Earl Johnson, Jr.
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