Librarians in Trouble

Thinking ahead

a. Google vs. Libraries

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Google’s vision statement reads: 

  “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” ref.

picture by Claesju

picture by Claesju

Then, isn´t it the work of libraries?

I´m thinking about Google and his relationship with the information.

Obviously I prefer consult in Google than in my public library.

Is faster and easier than look into the catalog and next go to the shelves and read a book.

Then google is more useful than a library?? In many senses, yes. But it does not mean that Google has all the information available in the world, or always has a better service than the librarian service. All depend on what you are looking for, what you really need. Depending on your necessities you need consult Google or your library.

For example if you are a researcher, specialised in a very closed subject, perhaps you need visit and search in a specialised Library, like the libraries of many museums.

The libraries have jointly, today,  more and better information than google. More specialised, more quantity and a closed relationship with the people.  There you have the service of a professional, the librarian. The libraries, archives, museums… have been the knowledge container of the humanity and in many cases yet Google, Internet, can not overcome.

Google is now a powerful tool, is in millions of homes over the world.

Also is useful. But it does not mean that must be the only option of people.

I think that both, Google and the Libraries, have a place in the information market.

Google needs the knowledge deposited in our libraries during centuries. Our libraries need the powerful tool of Google. None should exist without the other.

We are involved in a changing era, we have a bright future ahead of us. We must look ahead without forgetting what we have learned. Google, Internet, is a revolution, but only one revolution as others that had been before.  

So I think the solution is not a struggle between Google and the Libraries. The solution must be an integration of the Libraries inside Internet, and of course Google. There is where the Digital Libraries should have a privileged and unique place.

Written by claesju

April 21, 2009 at 9:22 pm

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