October 18, 2017

LITA Librarians Lament Google’s Deficits

By LJ Staff

At the October
of the Library and Information Technology Association, librarians
voiced frustration that, while most patrons won’t search beyond Google, most
library resources don’t appear there. In particular, expensive full-text
articles remain locked behind a proprietary fence. This is “the worst of all
possible worlds,” decried Cliff Lynch, executive director of the Coalition of
Networked Information, who said that librarians need to communicate to users
about information quality. Others felt that communication wasn’t enough and that
this conundrum needed to be solved by librarians and vendors together.

While no solutions were posited, one attendee said, “We need to find a way to
open up this information to our users who are on a search engine. At least to
send users back to their library for the full text.” Participants had numerous
suggestions for vendors, such as linking from abstracting and indexing services
to library catalogs, thereby eliminating a tedious step for users. “With so many
libraries generating web-based finding aids, a back-end user-friendly XML tool
for maintaining the finding aid and work flow would be helpful at many
libraries,” said Julia Ashmun, systems analyst/programmer, Harvard College