December 10, 2004

We knew this, but it made the news today.

"Students shun search for information offline" from CNN
So much to say about this, so little time. Education related to the databases we offer is a key of course. Having the resources is key too. Perhaps state/consortia wide ads promoting new services? King County highlighted this service recently on their main page. Nice work. It's a fascinating time to be a librarian. What will we be in 20 years?

Posted by libraryman at December 10, 2004 05:29 PM

As with most things, it comes down to time and convenience. A good portion of students would show great resistance to using King County's other databases, simply because 1) it takes time to learn a new interface, and 2) using multiple databases takes more time on top of that. Not to mention leaving one's home to travel 15 minutes to the library . . . What we all ultimately secretly want is for Google, in all its sublime simplicity, to index EVERYTHING--books, magazines, court documents, etc. Of course, we're far from a perfect Google, which is part of the problem (and we're far from a perfect Google not only because it's search algorithms are imperfect, but because so much information exists in non-networked, proprietary databases . . .)

Google scholar should help things . . .

Posted by: Kris at December 11, 2004 02:07 PM

It'll be a bunch of leaping baby steps like Google Scholar.

What people want is for it to be like on Star Trek when the crew would say something like "Computer, get us the hell out of here!" to which the computer could reply:
"Please specify how you would like to proceed, sir",(yeah I'm a geek and that computer quote is actually from the show).

In other words, a computer that could do an effective reference interview. Which, isn't really likely to happen effectively in our lifetime if ever. Heck, some librarians can't even do an effective reference interview!

btw, The on-line databases at KCLS really blow me away too.

Posted by: MP at December 11, 2004 11:41 PM