Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Google: Use Sparingly

The Infodiet: How Libraries Can Offer an Appetizing Alternative to Google

Librarians are worried their students are getting (mentally) obese with too much “unhealthy information.” Students use Google for just about anything they need to do on the Internet; so why would they go somewhere else to look for research? Online databases that are homes to millions of scholarly works are just too confusing to use, and Google is just so user friendly.

So what is there to do?

Some librarians do not agree with this thought, but a lot of others believe these databases should be simplified or “Google-ized.” That is, students find the online databases where most of the quality research information is housed to be too difficult to navigate; so the obvious solution is to make them more like Google and as a result more appealing to students.


I find it hard to believe that this idea that started several years ago has barely been developed. I will go ahead and assume the databases are a lot easier to use now than some odd years ago; however, they still have a long way to go if they want the type of traffic Google receives when individuals go info-searching. Innovation is the key for any business to be successful and it seems these databases are doing the wrong things to increase users by not innovating.

By trying to simply get as many journal articles as possible and not caring about the quality of the work, databases are actually decreasing the value customers receive from their service. The “Google-ize” solution is far better and would benefit the users far more than irrelevant or questionable articles. Students are all about ease of use and convenience, and databases have a ways to go to catch up with Google.
“The Infodiet: How Libraries Can Offer an Appetizing Alternative to Google”. By: Bell, Steven J., Chronicle of Higher Education, 00095982, 2/20/2004, Vol. 50, Issue 24


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