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October 23, 2002

How to scare a librarian

Our current Secretary of State has gone the way of many folk in believing too much in the all-encompassing power of the web.

On getting people more interested in the Department of State's website: "Let's get it to the point short of being improper where people want to go see what's on the State Department website every morning." Just short of improper, but let's not get too crazy here.

On the value of non-electronic reference works: "I told my staff: 'I no longer have any encyclopedias, any dictionaries, or any reference materials anywhere in my office, whatsoever, I don't need them. I've stopped using all reference materials because you don't need it. All you need is a search engine.'"

Maybe he doesn't, but that doesn't speak for all of us. I hope that when necessary his office actually has to call the librarians at the Library of Congress now and then for assistance. Here's the full text of the Secretary's remarks. (Thanks to

Yours, &c., LC | 09:43 PM | Librariana