Beyond Google

I’ve been listening to The World is Flat (thanks Rita!) and right now the author is talking about Google. Anyone at anytime anywhere can find anything, he claims. So not true! We have patrons coming into the library who are completely frustrated by Google. How often do we search and find thousands of hits, but none of them have the information we want? And if we are lucky enough to find it in a reasonable amount of time, how do we know how good the information is?

Like most people, I turn to Google often to find quick answers to simple questions. But I’ve learned that it has it’s limitations. For information beyond the fast and easy, I need to search inside databases, speak with experts, and ask for help. Very often the answers are out there, but they are part of the “hidden web” that search engines never uncover. That’s where we come in.

One of the perks of my job as a librarian is helping people find just what they need. The author seems to think we keep information locked in a cavernous vault somewhere, but that was never true. Nothing means more than to connect our patrons with the information they need. So when Google doesn’t work for you, call us!


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