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In the search game: Google 1, Librarians 0


Bob Cox hips us to this article from the Star-Telegram.

Librarians are being written off as pre-1996 search relics, unable to compete in an era of robotic search engines.


Joel Achenbach writes in the story found at the referenced link: And yet Berkeley professor Peter Lyman points out that traditional sources of information, such as textbooks, are heavily filtered by committees and are full of "compromised information." What is this "compromised information"? Is this to mean information that supports only one ideological viewpoint left or right? Is this to mean information that is just simply dumbed down for student consumption? This article just seemed a wee bit too vague to be of much sense.

Then there's this bizarre is this statement: "There's been a culture war between librarians and computer scientists," Lyman says.

What culture war? The Internet isn't some assault on libraries by computer scientists. It's the technological infrastructure of a reasearch network that's been opened up to the world and largely gone commercial. People are so imprecise with their language nowadays, and as a professor of mine (in German, not LIS) once pointed out, sloppiness in language often indicates sloppiness in thought.

State of Texas is famous for the committee wrangling related to high school (and below) textbooks. is one site created to fight the censorship and other troubles created by political screening of books. (I found this site by searching google for: Texas textbook committee.) Georgia recently made news by proposing the de-adoption of evolution as a required topic (I think that's what happened).

Now, as for college textbooks, I think that the "filtered by committees" comment would rarely apply.

For college textbooks, in my experience, the professor just assigns his or her own book. Gotta drive those sales up! :-)