Sunday, November 16, 2008

Post-google

My office, in the morning sun

I've noticed that since I became a librarian I have less and less patience with google. I don't think I can say I've outgrown it, because I still use it every day, but in terms of connecting to the information I'm looking for, I'm now more likely to take the time to work with a native interface rather than hoping google has indexed it and can interpret my search. 

I think this is a result of being a more educated searcher, and understanding where information comes from and how it's generated. Understanding the circumstances around information can allow someone to skip google entirely, or only use it once instead of returning to it again and again. In fact, I hate having to use google more than once for a search. If I don't find what I'm looking for instantly on google I strenuously avoid scrolling through those horrible results lists, dodging commercial links -- instead I'll look for an authority to direct me to the information. 

I'm pretty sure google inc. understands people like me & continues to create useful and relevant tools. But how many times have you heard 'I didn't believe it at first, but then I researched it on the computer and it was true'? And how often does this mean that the person googled keywords related to their question and got results containing whatever bias or opinion they brought to the search? 

And so this brings us back to my pet subject, the importance of information literacy...  

3 comments:

  1. Hi, I stumbled upon your blog while googling "pros of being a librarian."

    I'm considering entering librarian school next fall but am still feeling uncertain. When I met with the director of the program I'm considering, I blurted out that I wanted to be a librarian because I love books. Though its not only books, I'm in love with reading. One of my earliest memories was being frustrated in the car because I could not read the road signs. I must have been three since I taught myself to read the following year.

    My undergraduate degree is in web design, intro to animation, and film making. I was very unhappy despite the degree meaning I was pushed to using the internet (I'm an internet addict--refreshing news websites nonstop) and got to get my toes wet and discovering that I'm interested in typography and video editing. Then after graduation I found out my degree was near worthless: it had been too broad with no depth. No one will hire you if you don't have years of experience even for an entry level job. So off I went to look into grad schools!

    The Strong Interest Inventory told me that my interests are 59 out of 60 alignment with being a librarian, which is what really set me on this path. Further investigations agreed. However, I cannot convince anyone to let me intern. I had one informerical interview at my high school and it was a very pleasant experience.

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  2. So what it boils down is, how do you know this is your calling? I recently assisted in a class teaching retirees basic computer skills which I enjoyed immensely. I worked in a child care lab in high school for two years working with preschoolers. For the past three years I have been working in retail and restaurants. Currently I am in customer service at Walmart so I have experience with the general public, answering questions, following and enforcing company policy and state and federal laws, along with money handling.

    I guess what makes me apprehensive is that I fear I'm "settling" if I become a librarian. A lot of the jobs in my field glitter and dazzle (Hollywood in regards to film making) while librarian science seems hum ho. Secretly I've always wanted to be a VIP and... I think I'll be a damn good librarian, but I'm still worried.

    So how do you know? Is there room for creativity in being a librarian? How so?

    I ask because you come across as very personable on your blog so I'm hoping you'll have some better insight into making this decision. I feel like I'm hitting a brick wall on my side of things. I'm not cut-throat enough to work in my own field of study, so I need to go back and get a degree in something I can make a living with.

    Thank you for your time.

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  3. (In case anyone's wondering, I responded to Amanda in an email through her blog!)

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