Okay Google Now...
posted October 8, 2013 4:44 PM by Julie Steenson
I need to talk about Google. Most librarians have a love/hate relationship with Google as it is such a useful tool, the ultimate federated search, but also often perceived to be the biggest threat to our job security.
With my last tuition payment this month (cheers all around!), I celebrated by finally joining the smartphone world. I opted for a Motorola Droid phone as they have good antennas and I live in the boonies, and I expected to love being able to check email and have a really nice camera with me at all times. I did not expect to fall in love with its excellent voice recognition software and my ability to ask Google whatever I wanted to know.
I remember when a computer with far less processing ability than my little phone would literally fill a room, so I am enthralled with the power in this little device. My favorite feature is "Okay Google, now..." which allows me to ask it anything.
Gasp! A librarian who is having an affair with Google.... We librarians need to get over ourselves and applaud any efforts that make information more accessible. We don't need to feel threatened as truth is, Google is a great FIRST step in gathering information, and it is awesome for ready reference questions like "Okay Google now...how long is the Golden Gate Bridge?" We don't need a master's degree to answer that question now, nor did we in the age of print encyclopedias. The world does, however, need all our librarian skills to conduct useful searches on more in-depth topics, whether on freely available internet sources or through subscription databases or through WorldCat, the world's online catalog (which still gives me goose bumps when I think about it.).
I recently joined a faculty member on a busy reference shift at UMass, where students sought our help when their basic Google searches didn't quite give them what they needed. That's right, they came to us.
The daringlibrarian.com recently posted:
Point taken. I really don't think we have to worry.