With age brought the need to research topics for school or university work. In my opinion, research was much more fun—and productive—when aided by a slightly intimidating, but very knowledgeable librarian and his/her backup database—hundreds of neatly typed cards filed in a wooden cabinet filled with long, narrow drawers. It seemed librarians were born with an innate talent for pointing to the precise reference I required.
Nowadays, I do as much research—probably more, but on the internet. Still, have we simply exchanged quality for volume? Most research, in many disciplines, comes down to a select list of key papers or publications. The rest is dross or chaff. Whereas a skillful librarian will signpost the core references, the internet fills our laptops and tablets with pages of useless links that do little more than waste time and increase frustration.
I have not crossed the threshold of a library in recent times. Perhaps a visit is long overdue?