National Commission on Libraries and Information Science

Save $, Eliminate Data Stores And Rebuild Our Information Stores or Libraries

Save $, Eliminate Data Stores And Rebuild Our Information Stores or Libraries The average person cannot distinguish between data and information. Raw data has no value. It is sort of like if you took all of the books out of the library and just put them in a pile or if you just put all of the books in a library but in no logical sequence, pattern or without any methodology. Without the organized library, card catalogs, and the librarians, you could not find a particular book you are looking for. The same is true of 99% of our Federal Government Data Centers. Over the past 20~25 years, IT leadership (G-6s, CIOs) have been pushed to save money and have automated away the libraries by digitizing nearly everything in our business environment. In turn, they have told the COOs and CFOs and CEOs that they saved money by cutting the positions of all of the librarians and giving up the facilities of the library and replacing them with data centers, servers, networks, email and search engines. The reality/failure of this is that no one is making sure we have the latest edition and not 20 copies of a document or book with no way to tell who wrote or authored the document or book, or even where to find it, and sometimes finding it becomes a quest that takes a lot of additional time and the end result is quite often not the finding of the newest version. This is because there are no card catalogs, no cross references, and no librarians to maintain the data centers, and if you are lucky, you might have a search engine type function that returns hundreds or thousands of results that also do not facilitate being able to find the most relevant document or book in a timely manner. I suggest that all Federal Data Centers be mandated to employ librarians to help reorganize all of the data into relevant information and maintain only the most relevant data and information. By doing this we will recover time lost finding relevant information, reduce the amount of information we store, reduce the amount of information we backup, reduce power and cooling requirements, and facilitate the availability of relevant information that is critical to running all of our government business lines.

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Idea No. 17003