Posted by: Burlington Public Library (WA) | December 6, 2011

So there.

About once a week I have an interaction that goes something like this:

Patron: “Well, I guess we won’t need libraries much longer, huh?”
Me: “Oh?  Why do you say that?”
Patron:  “Well, we can get everything we need from Google and e-books now!”

 Oh really.  What springs to mind are responses like “Oh yeah?  Can Google protect your civil liberties?”  or “Can Google stand up for equal access to information in this country?”  or even “Can Google help your child gain literacy skills, or teach you English, or guide you to find a job, for free?”  But leaving aside such juicy topics, let’s just look at getting information from Google, in a very brief and simplistic way.

a) Please remember that you can’t trust everything you read.  Do you have the skills to be certain you can trust the information you find on the web?  No?  Well, guess who does.   😉

b) Go read the November 10 entry of this blog: http://senseandreference.wordpress.com

 I’ll summarize it for you: a basic search from a library database yields 5,272 academic journal articles, 3,531 magazine articles, 11,875 news articles, and 669 other credible sources.  The same basic search on Google delivers 868 web pages, an unvetted jumble of information which may or may not be trustworthy and may or may not be about what you’re looking for.

We’re drowning in information these days, and librarians are running the rescue boats.  Glad to have you aboard.
                           —Mary Beth

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