Saturday, March 3, 2007

Why a Librarian is Better Than Google

At a recent Chamber of Commerce event, the library's information table featured a short PowerPoint presentation running in a continuous loop. One of the slides was titled "Why a Librarian is Better Than Google." Let's look at those reasons:
  • We have years of experience and training in information management. Librarians have always looked for the best sources of print information when building collections. We constantly select and de-select (weed) materials to strive for an information collection that will answer your questions. The reference librarians at MPL have a combined total of more than 100 years of professional experience which we now practice on the digital playing field as well as the print.
  • We can help you refine your question to get a better answer. We're skilled at boiling down broadly-phrased questions to find the exact information you need. You can create all the Boolean searches you want on Google, but you won't get the equivilant of dialogue with librarian that will result on the question you really meant to ask. What good is the answer if you've asked the wrong question?
  • We won't give you 1,735,239 answers to your question. (Sort of speaks for itself, doesn't it?)
  • We can train you to use our on-line catalog and databases. You can't get to them by Googling, and you won't need to worry about the accuracy of the information. They are produced and maintained by leaders in the information management business.
  • We're more user-friendly! We'll work with you as long as you need us. We'll get what you need from other libraries if we don't have it. And you won't get any of those annoying screens that tell you that you can't get to where you want to go!

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