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Michigan State University

Library Technology Exhibit: Home

Back to the Future: Library & Information Technology Through Time

(Narrative for the Library Technology Exhibit, July-September 2010)

Imagine this common scenario: you have to write a research paper and you need scholarly resources for the bibliography.  Where do you turn?  The library website of course!  Now imagine the same scenario, only you are a student in the 1700s, the 1950s, or 2050s.  How would this change the way you do library research?  Your answer is undoubtedly tied to the technology of the time.  

Today, computers and the Internet are ubiquitous features in our lives, especially with regard to how we use the library.  We have come a long way from clay tablets, scrolls, and even the card catalog!  Now is the age of the Information Society, an era characterized by technological innovations and an explosion of information.  Over time changes in technology have affected the intersecting worlds of libraries, information, communication, knowledge, and learning.  Follow the library and information technology timeline to learn what changes have taken shape and how they affect the ways in which we use the library.