Thanks for this discussion thread. I would argue that good librarians don't
provide answers at all, they provide the means to ask thoughtful, critical
Also, in adding to the reading list, I thoroughly recommend Astra Taylor's *The
People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age*:
On Fri, Apr 1, 2016 at 12:07 PM, Goldsmith, Ivan Victor <[log in to unmask]>
> Hi there,
> 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
> Cornel Darden Jr.
> Chief Information Officer
> Casanova Information Services, LLC
> Office Phone: (779) 205-3105
> Mobile Phone: (708) 705-2945
> Sent from my iPhone
Siân Evans, MA, MLS
Instruction Librarian, Decker Library
Maryland Institute College of Art
1300 West Mount Royal Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21217
email: [log in to unmask]