Google OS & Librarians

Google is set to debut an operating system based on Chrome. (via <a href="">New York Times</a>). Ishush <a href="">has a brief analysis</a> that suggests this is good for the 'biodiversity' of the web climate, citing Jaron Lanier's criticism that "software makes us stupid..." but maybe an OS built by a company whose name has been made on "organizing the world's information" will be a natural fit for libraries?


Sure, library software, namely Library Systems and OPACs, are illogical, cumbersome and archaic in nature. They were good in the 60's but does not compare to the technology of today. Google KOs all OPACs in the first round! The time for all librarians to embrace technology is long overdue. Really, there's nothing to fear. Technology enhances our jobs.

Hi leeb, I disagree with the premise that Google in some way trumps OPACs or ILS's; Google is a search engine with a different mandate and purview than the library software (though I grant that in a very vague way, these things are related).

Google is meant to troll the web's code and index it so that we can find web pages. If Google wanted to develop stuff that replaced SirsiDynix and ExLibris library software, they might well do a damn good job -- so I'll grant you too that Google could probably KO ILS corps if they tried. But that's not their business. In the same way that ExLibris isn't about web search, Google isn't about marking status changes on physical books in physical collections -- at least yet.


The fact is, the majority of people prefer Google over OPACs. I can understand that librarians are defensive of their little baby OPACs, but most non-library people stay away from it. Now, users naturally choose to use what is easier to use and access, and they choose Google over OPACs with their feet. This certainly in no way means that information and books in libraries are not worthy or valuable to people. My friends and my own mother don't clearly understand what I do as a librarian and cataloguer. Many library patrons ask how to use the OPAC, but they never ask how to use Google. Whether Google has a different mandate to OPACs, that's purely academic when the masses prefer Google over OPACs.