Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Valuable Information

A friend of mine wanted a recipe for homemade wax for waxing herself. She went on to Google and typed homemade waxing. Of the 500,000 or so results, she clicked on the first one, got her recipe, printed it off and was content.

Google makes searches look easy. But are the searches good? This was the question on my mind. And what about my friend who performed the search? Did she not want to see what else is out there, who put this recipe up, if this recipe is safe, etc?

It reminded me that this is how most patrons are searching and finding and assuming they have got the best information. They might be educated but are unaware of such a thing as information literacy.

With the ubiquitous www, there is a lot of information out there, some of it effectively managed through proper channels, but the rest of it is just data. Data doesn’t provide accurate information. And now I am worried for all those patrons who don’t come to us, who don’t use the library, who haven’t been to school or haven’t learnt information literacy. They are missing out on valuable information that could be out there!