Let’s face it: Google is an academic resource. We all use it – students, researchers, and yes, even us librarians. I unashamedly include “Google literacy” in my library instruction – teaching students how to be better Googlers, how to link to the library from Google Scholar, and how to evaluate the sources they find on Google.How good a Googler are you? Did you know that you can use Google to…
To say that “librarians are the original search engine” is to concede that search engines do what librarians do, which would be another way of saying that there is no reason to talk to a reference librarian if you can just Google it.
If you want a slogan for a coffee mug, I would prefer to see one with an SAT-style analogy, like, “Librarians are to search engines as astronomers are to telescopes.” People who don’t know much about astronomy can get some use from a telescope, but we understand that with an astronomer’s knowledge it can become much more powerful as a tool for discovery. We would not say, “Astronomers: The original telescope,” and we wouldn’t think for a second that that a slogan like that would be flattering to astronomers or supportive of the astronomy profession.
How Much Data Is Created Every Minute? [INFOGRAPHIC]
The semantic web is coming to Google…
To provide answers that aren’t already in Google’s ever-expanding database, the company will blend new semantic-search technology with its current system to better recognize the value of information on websites and figure out which ones to show in search results. It would do so by examining a Web page and identifying information about specific entities referenced on it, rather than only look for keywords.
Okay, so… I don’t know if this will be of use anyone but me, but I was trying to go over the Computers in Libraries sessions (both those I attended and those I didn’t) to find what I could of the presentation slides/handouts/blog posts and I was getting bogged down in links and files, so I made these lists of links. If anyone knows of stuff that could be on here that I missed, do let me know (use the ‘ask me anything’ link).
One of Google’s own, Chief Internet Evangalist (and Internet inventor) Vint Cerf, has joined the growing chorus of voices warning of the possible end to Google’s dominance. ”There’s nothing to stop someone from developing better technology than we have and to invent something even more powerful and efficient and effective,” Cerf said speaking at the National Media Museum… .
U.S. Search Market since 2008 [infographic]
Other than February being the shortest month, any guesses about why it has the lowest number of search queries?
My speculations: it’s not midterms/end of semester on the academic calendar; everyone already knows the typical gifts for Valentine’s Day (Christmas is vastly more difficult); people have already given up on their resolutions so there aren’t any more (or as many) searches for gyms/diets; it’s winter in most of the country so there aren’t any ‘what’s this plant?’ or gardening-type searches …
…Sleep eluded me that evening as I realized how desperately we, as librarians, are needed in the 21st Century to help the public, our patrons, wade through a sea of misinformation. Each day we aide our patrons as they seek to rebuild their lives and their careers after an economic meltdown that never seems to end, yet in the midst of an economic crisis that has enveloped a culture overloaded with information, we are under attack, forced to prove our relevance in a digital age where the bottom line trumps common sense.
(All of my accounts just gave me the option to turn the history on, so apparently I never enabled it to begin with.)
Based on how Google ranks search results, typing in a question will be more likely to bring back pages with a question for a title. In many of our everyday searches this is an easy way to find question and answer sites when we want them, but Q&A sites are not necessarily authoritative sources for school work. So I have students write down their questions and teach them how to mark them up to create queries, the first step being to identify the significant words.
Couldn’t agree more.
Love this! :)
Imagine a research database, that upon searching for “wind energy,” gives top results about the benefits of turbine technology to one student, while another student (with a different search history, or in a different state) is instead shown articles that focus on the noise and vertigo that wind turbines produce. Sound fishy? Google has unveiled a more personal search that does exactly this sort of thing, called “Search, plus Your World. Is this more about advertising revenue than providing access to information? For a nice review of the issue, see a competitor’s Escape your search engine Filter Bubble! When, if ever, would you want filtered results?
See also the Search Engine Land post on the subject.
Search Engine Watch: How Search Engines Work