What is information? Who are the information rich and who are the information poor? In this book the information society is explored in the light of the economic and social pressures which are placed upon information gatherers and keepers. The commer What is information? Who are the information rich and who are the information poor? In this book the information society is explored in the light of the economic and social pressures which are placed upon information gatherers and keepers. The commercial value of information to those who wish to access it and to those who wish to process and disseminate it becomes increasingly important in a world where information can be transmitted in split seconds. In examining the differing threads that make up the information society John Feather looks at the social relationship between the citizen and the state in terms of censorship and morality and how this is affected by information transfer. Information can become a political tool - from the accumulation and control of personal data to selective use of information or 'disinformation' - which can be manipulated by public authorities. The management of information, however, is equally as important as the way in which it is presented: Feather puts into context the role of the librarian as an information provider and takes a look at the nature of the information profession and its breakout from the traditional boundaries of librarianship. ...Continua Nascondi
Feather rather got off on the wrong foot with me. He started by talking about the invention of printing, and got the date of printing in China wrong by several centuries! This really annoyed me, this is the 5th edition of the book, surely a bit moreFeather rather got off on the wrong foot with me. He started by talking about the invention of printing, and got the date of printing in China wrong by several centuries! This really annoyed me, this is the 5th edition of the book, surely a bit more research needed doing! The whole first few chapters seemed full of manifest destiny, because they had an alphabet, and invented printing Europe was able to RULE THE WORLD! (que maniacal laughter here).
It was so Eurocentric it hurt. Or rather it focused so throughly on England and the US it hurt. (As at one point he did actually say that only English language publishing of GB and USA were quality academic publishers! I think someone needs to explain to him that just because you can't read other languages doesn't mean that books aren't being written and published in those languages.
This book was a terribly low quality. A librarian, who clearly as no concept of history, economics, sociology trying to explain these points and getting so much wrong! I mentioned the China mistake because it shows why it is so important for European authors to take a bit more of a global history approach to their work. He dismissed China in the history section and dismissed it in the current day.
He seemed to be writing that Japan was part of the "developing nations". He talked about how well the economies of Japan, Korea (not North Korea or South Korea, just Korea), Singapore were doing, but not once did he mention the economy of China (which is doing much better than the economy of the US!). He also mentioned how these "third world nations" were not able to publish much, only India was able to compete with the US and the UK for publishing, completly ignoring the East Asian book market.
There were so many things wrong and misinformed about this book. Despite it's attempt to be an academic work no footnotes or references were given, so it's impossible to say where he was getting this information. This book was suggested reading on my library course and I have no idea why. It really is the worst book I've had to read on this course so far.
I'm sure Feather could write a decent book if he just stuck to his subject, how information changed libraries in the UK. But when he tries to incorporate the rest of the world, he fails. This book should really be avoided at all costs. ...Continua Nascondi