The internet created an 'information explosion' much like the big-bang, it continues to expand, no end in sight. The conventional publishing industry can neither cope with the volume nor the "immediacy" of information needs in today's new information paradigm.
If the information is not published now, if it's not readily and freely available, it runs the risk of being treated as either not relevant, or too late. Today, we want information fast, we want opinions, we want comments, and discussion, a dynamic process - knowing who is in the know, who is connected to who, and who is working on what is the new focus.
My boys don't phone for help anymore, they Facebook.. they ask a network of friends, and from a wealth of responses, invariably glean the information they need without resorting to the literature at all. If you're researching something, don't you want to know who else is working in your field, aren't you curious what you could achieve together, rather than alone? Doesn't bouncing ideas back and forth stimulate new approaches, compared to the passive reading of past articles, and old ideas?
We have entered a new paradigm of sharing the creation of information, in real time!
While conventional publishing struggles to respond to this new paradigm, Libraries have not only entered, but are already deeply immersed in the "networking age".. it's in their nature and function - libraries have always been about the community they serve. Perhaps they can, and need to place a far higher focus on helping clients develop "network literacy" skills as part of the package, but above all we must reinforce the need to strike a balance, the need to evaluate the source of information is just as critical.. indeed more so, than ever before.