I would suggest that librarians are interested in, among other things, promoting information literacy skills to our patrons. According to ACRL's Standards for Information Literacy in Higher Education (2000 edition):
An information literate individual is able to:
-Determine the nature and extent of information needed
-Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
-Evaluate information and its sources critically
-Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base
-Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
-Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally
The idea that Google can't provide the contextual nature of the information that it presents and people vary in their levels of information literacy, a librarian, presumably with an advanced skillset and knowledge base in this area, can help provide assistance and context to what a patron might need. In that sense, I think a librarian can often add tremendous value to a search.
Director of Library Services
Paul Smith’s College
7833 New York 30
Paul Smiths, NY 12970
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From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Kyle Banerjee
Sent: Friday, April 01, 2016 2:00 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Google can give you answers, but librarians give you the right answers
On Thu, Mar 31, 2016 at 9:31 PM, Cornel Darden Jr. <[log in to unmask]
> "Google can give you answers, but librarians give you the right answers."
> Is it me? Or is there something wrong with this statement?
There's nothing wrong with the statement. As is the case with all sound bites, it should be used to stimulate thought rather than express reality.
Librarians have a schizophrenic relationship with Google. We dump on Google all the time, but it's one of the tools librarians of all stripes rely on the most. When we build things, we emulate Google's look, feel, and functionality. And while we blast Google on privacy issues, human librarians know a lot about what the individuals they serve use, why, and how -- it is much easier to get anonymous help from Google than a librarian.
There are many animals in the information ecosystem, libraries and Google being among them. Our origins and evolutionary path differ, and this diversity is a good thing.