Google vs. Librarians

Here’s my answer:

I use Google because it’s always there and I can usually find a good enough answer in just a couple of minutes — and often, it’s for something that I wouldn’t *want* to disturb an actual human being for (an example that came up today at lunch: “What is the original name of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico and when did it get renamed?” — a five-second Google search gives the answer, which is less time than it would take to dial the library and say “Hello”)!

When I have a HARD problem, I turn to a professional — but I’m happy to do the easy stuff myself. This holds for household maintenance as well as information retrieval…but the consequences of screwing up information retrieval aren’t usually as messy.

Librarians do a wonderful job of bringing order from chaos and guiding people in difficult searches — but sometimes, all you need is one piece of information, and Google does a nifty job of finding it fast if you can just ask the right question.

And it’s gone!

I see that Mark Pilgrim has removed the misinformation about the pronunciation of “Henrico”. I’m glad to have done my small bit for the integrity of the Web. :-)

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