Press "Enter" to skip to content


Hamish kindly passed on details of a journal article on ‘The New Literacy’ today. The experience has left me somewhat shaken.

  1. it’s been 4 years since I’ve had cause, or time, to read/request a journal.
  2. I didn’t comprehend what the zetoc Alert actually was at first.
  3. I clicked on the link expecting to be able to read the article in full; I just got shelfmark/Dewey info.
  4. I then clicked on the ‘Request a copy from your Institution’s library’ link, expecting Zetoc to be able to send me through EASE into Athens and to the journal I was after, or even to hit the reserve button for me. It didn’t. It just gave me more info on how to order it.

This is nothing radical or at all surprising for those in more academic circles, but I began to question the likelihood of me actually reading the article within different timescales, all of which came up with “none”. I was born into the digital age and expect things on demand. To my detriment, I’ve never properly used the University library, and as a result of that, am likely not to in this instance. I simply can’t be bothered to trudge over there, unearth my staff card, locate the book on a particular floor, locate the book, find that someone else has got it stored in the pile of 40-50 other books they’re somehow expecting to get through in the next 6 hours, and then face the prospect of fines of an inordinant magnitude when it gets lost at home or work.

So am I losing out? A fellow colleague has the kindness to pass on something of interest and I just snub it?

Nah. I’ve got Google. A quick flit with the article title and author name, and there it is, in full, and I can sit here getting progressively less-healthy, fineless. Splendid.

Of course, I didn’t read it yet – I just bookmarked it, like the hundreds of other interesting-but-I’m-busy pages that linger in that folder, never to be touched again. But that’s e-learning for you.

(article available at –

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.