Reference librarians in the age of Google

Has anyone else out there read this recent article from Duke magazine, “Brave New World: Reference Librarians in the Age of Google“? There’s nothing really new in it from what I could tell. It mostly talks about the challenge librarians are facing adapting to a world in which most people start searching for information on Google instead of a library. Virtual reference options are mentioned, as is Facebook.

Does this sound like a possible program that the committee should take on? Steven Bell would be a good guest speaker. Maybe we can have a conversation between Bell and someone else who has a different take on what the future holds for reference librarians. What do you all think?

Here’s an excerpt:

UNC’s Pomerantz acknowledges that there is some tension as libraries are pulled in two different directions, the physical and the virtual. On the one hand, he says, public and university libraries are increasingly playing to “hyper-local” niches, often serving as community centers. “At the same time, there is a lessening of importance of geography,” as libraries reach out via the Web to patrons around the world.


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