Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Librarian Generation Gap... Hating on Google.

This is my second week working the Info desk and there is a lot of "stuff" being thrown at me.... "but I don't want to have any PIC-like responsibilities!!"  I went to a Reference Interview training last week with my coworker/friend "Red."

It was basically filled with fairly new Info people, a few Info volunteers, and Circ people who want Info positions.  Out of the 16 attendees, there were only 3 of us who were under the age of 30.  The average age was about early to mid 50's and I was the only male in attendance, shocker.

We had mini break out sessions and role played actual questions the presenters faced at the Info desk.  My friend Red played the person working the Info desk handling the question and suggested using Google to find the answer to a fact-based question which caused one of our older group members to get all upset like we told her that her kitten wasn't all that cute or something.  "You would use Google?" she asked us incredulously.  I told her that I agreed with Red and that it's a great way to find facts as long as you check the sources and citations of whatever resource you choose.  She still didn't agree with us and thus continued the debate for another 5 minutes. 

I really do not understand why any librarian out there would have so much beef with Google.  It is not the enemy to librarianship and if you think that Google has put librarians out of jobs well then those people shouldn't have been librarians in the first place if you ask me.  Adaptability is a must for any librarian.  I believe that Google is one of the greatest tools a librarian should use.  You would be hard-pressed to find any younger MLIS student who also objects to using Google on the job.  I just don't get it, I best she probably uses AltaVista...


  1. I use Google all the time and for some reason it shocks my Department Head when I find what is needed via Google. She is an old school librarian, so I just laugh at her and do things my way. I think Google is awesome when used in the proper circumstances.

  2. I fear the day when I am working the desk and the internet goes down, thank goodness for those training videos:

    "If a customer has a disk take a look at it and tell them it's the wrong format.
    ---If it's Apple tell them we're PC.
    ---If it's PC tell them we're Apple.
    ---If they've got both, tell 'em we use Linux.
    ---If they've got that, tell 'em the computers are down.
    They should be anyhow."

  3. Haha, I actually went to that same exact training program! Except when I went they had too many people and not enough role playing cards so that there were a few repeats which made it weird because there are only so many ways to look up local plumbing businesses using library materials.

    I use Google -- it's not always my go to, but I definitely don't count it out as a resource. When I first started on the info desk, my branch manager at the time made a big fuss and shamed me for using it, but later I felt better when I realized that she never scheduled herself for the desk because she was so out of touch with the times that she could barely answer most "current" reference questions.

  4. Miss SHUSHIE,
    They are bringing training back and I figured I might as well get paid to NOT work the info desk and to visit other branches, oh and to be the token male in the room.