Scholarly Research – Google vs. Librarians

A recent article from the Chronicle of Higher Education, Librarians Find a Place in a ‘Web 2.0’ World, directs attention to Thomas Mann’s essay, The Peloponnesian War and the Future of Reference, Cataloging, and Scholarship in Research Libraries.  This essay examines the: priniciples and practices of reference services and cataloging; the differences between quick information seeking and scholarly research; and the implications for the future of cataloging.  Mann concludes that while machine driven tools such as Google are fine for “quick information” seeking, for more scholarly research, librarians’ expertise are still needed to to guide users in the right direction.  Feel free to post your comments. 

2 thoughts on “Scholarly Research – Google vs. Librarians”

  1. I have been following Mr. Gorman’s series of well-thought out articles on the impact of Google on the library catalog searches. Time and again, he repeated that different search strategies meet different needs. Asking scholars to do their research based on keywork search is like asking them what the elephant looks like after touching his ear or his tail. Well constructed subject headings are vital to research as they allow scholars to find what they need quicker. Not only do they get the whole picture but they also get pertinent information (not false drops) and a lot of it in a short period of time. I hope more people will read his well-reasoned articles in defense of good cataloging to support solid scholarship.

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