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The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri

Signing Off

When I became Business Resources Librarian in 1981, virtually all of the sources I could tap into were made out of trees.  Paper sources had been the standard for "timely" information since Gutenberg began to make use of movable type in 1455.

While we still use and provide many paper-format information sources, today many of our most-used sources are made out of electrons.  The computer and the Internet have been gamechangers.  Information that was inaccessible or unavailable to the small entrepreneur or investor in 1981 is now readily available at little or no end-user cost.  The sort of up-to-date data that was available in once-daily sources such as the Wall Street Journal (the Library received its copies the day following publication) is now available instantaneously.  We subscribe to databases that give in-depth, current information on even the smallest company or detailed demographic information--with five-year projections--on any portion of geography in the US.  The playing field has been levelled for players large and small.

A few days away from retirement, I consider myself uniquely privileged to have been on deck for the information revolution.  But perhaps developments are forthcoming at some point that will cause my times to be described as the Informational Stone Age!  In any event, I prize the many and various interactions that I've had with patrons and peers near and far over the years. Good-bye and best wishes to all.

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