This is something I've been thinking about a lot in the past few weeks.
I don't think librarians necessarily give people the "right answers" (what does it mean for an answer to be "right", anyway?). Sure, not everything on the Internet is true, but not everything that came from a librarian's mouth or a book is true, either. Humans are frequently wrong no matter which medium they're using to reach an audience.
Libraries don't provide the "right" answers -- they provide *different* answers through a different lens, and that's what's important.
Quoting what I told a colleague earlier this week: There are major perks to the fact that libraries are NOT Google. Our motivations are vastly different from Google's, and this makes all the difference.
We do not track our patrons. We do not record their every move and sell that information to advertisers.
We do not bias their search results based on previous behavior. We do not filter or limit the information they can find based on what we or our algorithms think they might like. We don't build profiles to guess at their demographic and skew the materials we give them to reaffirm their preexisting beliefs. Patrons can come to the library and search for knowledge in peace, separate from the baggage of the Internet's pervasive tracking data and invasive profiling.
We are neutral in the services we provide, and that is invaluable in the age of personalization.
If you have the time for a quick read, you'll find Eli Pariser's "The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding From You<https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10596103-the-filter-bubble>" to be very relevant.
-- Ivan Goldsmith
Front End Developer
Penn Libraries Web Unit
From: Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Cornel Darden Jr. <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, April 1, 2016 12:31 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [CODE4LIB] Google can give you answers, but librarians give you the right answers
"Google can give you answers, but librarians give you the right answers."
Is it me? Or is there something wrong with this statement?
I've been hearing statements like this since I've been in the field. Tonight I saw a public library post on FB:
Library: "because not everything on the internet is true"
Some people applauded the statement and were like: "yay librarians!"
Others thought it was a very ignorant statement. And many patrons caused a huge backlash. It was interesting as the library responded to the irritated patrons.
Cornel Darden Jr.
Chief Information Officer
Casanova Information Services, LLC
Office Phone: (779) 205-3105
Mobile Phone: (708) 705-2945
Sent from my iPhone