“… AND THAT’S WHY LIBRARIES are more important than ever.” The librarian glanced out at the audience. “Any questions?”
There was a general rustling of people getting ready to leave. Hers was the last talk of the conference, and it had been a long conference.
Andy raised his hand. “But isn’t Google the Library of the Internet?”
The librarian straightened her notes and placed them in a folder. “That was the idea, I think, at first. But then they found out there’s money in information. Today’s Google is not concerned about the accuracy of information… it’s about getting you to buy something.”
“But Google’s free,” Andy replied, a puzzled look on his face.
The librarian nodded. “Currently, it is. But more and more information is paywalled. So it may lead you to an answer that you can’t access without a subscription. Also, key words are controlled by SEOs… search engine optimizers… that advertisers use to make sure their ads will be your first hits.” She closed her powerpoint and shut down the laptop. “The result is that the information you retrieve will be generated more by advertisers.” She flashed a broad smile. “If you want accurate results, stop by your local library.”
Andy blinked. “So we shouldn’t use Google?”
The librarian smiled. “Google’s fine. As long as you know what you’re looking for.”