“Print” Sources in the 21st Century

2009 3962573662 card catalog

I was helping a teammate at the library today think through how to help a student. The student, a middle schooler, was doing a report on illness and needed some sources for their “research report.”

The student rejected my teammate’s help out of hand because the student needed a “print source,” and my teammate pointed the student to some of our online databases.

The thing is, those databases? They’re electronic versions of stuff that was originally on paper. And they offer full text. That one could print out. Back onto paper. If one wanted to. You know – because rules.

So, I ask again, several years since the last time I asked it:

What’s print? Why does that matter? Why are we still perpetuating the paper/digital false dichotomy of information?

 

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