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Halloween, Information Overload, and Fear

Two things I'll quickly direct you to.

First is this post, now a year old, that I'm still rather proud of. I wrote it in this blog's first month, when it had enough readers to count on one hand. (You need at least two now.) It offers about all that I have to say on this most unusual holiday.

Second is this article from the daily free rag AM NEW York, which notes:

“Throughout history, there are always times when people have been in a state of fear,” said Gerilyn Ross, director of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America. “What’s different now, ... because of the onslaught of information we get 24/7, is you can’t turn it off. People are tuned in, turned on, and there’s no escape.”
The churn of new media replacing old media always creates cultural instability. For example, one root cause of the Reformation was likely the cultural shift from an oral society to a literate society. When that new destabilizing medium also completely bathes the public in information—more than they can handle, which itself induces the anxiety of overload—then watch out.

Librarians, here is our chance to prove our value and relevance. Information overload and its accompanying effects are real. If librarians truly are masters of context, critical thinking, and information literacy, then this is our time to shine.

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