Bronwyn's Library Blog

Friday, August 05, 2005

Hug your Librarian

Here, an article from John Brody that he called "Thinking out loud." And I've included the last paragraphs for your warm and fuzzy for the day.

Therefore, any day now, two prominent New York investment banks will announce the initial public offering for, the newest and most powerful search engine yet — better than Google, Yahoo, MSN and AskJeeves by a long shot. Already traders have lined up across the world to purchase shares. Why this excitement? It's all in the discernment. What is so great about is that when you perform a search, say on "16th-century weapons of mass destruction," you will get only one or two dozen references — the ones that are really meaningful and helpful — rather than the 50,700 that came up in the Google search I tried.

What is this great technology, you ask? Well, JHUSL stands for the Johns Hopkins University Sheridan Libraries. You see, our library has the most effective search engines yet invented — librarians who are highly skilled at ferreting out the uniquely useful references that you need. Rather than commercializing the library collections, why not export to the public market the most meaningful core of Hopkins' intellectual property — the ability to turn raw information into useful knowledge.

I hope by now you realize that any talk of taking our library public is simply to emphasize the point missing in all this Google mania: Massive information overload is placing librarians in an ever more important role as human search engines. They are trained and gifted at ferreting out and vetting the key resource material when you need it. Today's technology is spectacular — but it can't always trump a skilled human.

Have you hugged your librarian today?

Click here for the whole article.


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