Friday, November 04, 2005

1725 Google's Sergey Brin

I just love Google. As a librarian, I'm not at all distressed that it is achieving librarianship's goals of access to information for everyone even while threatening to put librarians out of work!*

But I especially love that one of its founders, Sergey Brin, is an immigrant. Is this a great country, or what? And not just any immigrant, but he's from Russia. I was a Russian major in college and most of my classmates were immigrants--Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Poland, etc. I think I only met one or two actual Russians.

Google's new plan to digitize works still under copyright is explained in Lawrence Lessig's November column in Wired. It's short and to the point and easy to understand.

And would you believe, my ancestors were immigrants too?

*The American Library Association has come out against torture and the war in Iraq, but has said nothing officially about Google's digitization project. They're leaving that up to publishers and authors.

3 comments:

Jane_of_art said...

I hope you don't believe Google will put us out of work. I don't think you do, just checking. Google is a good tool, but it does not and cannot ask the right question nor can it get you the book free of charge- like I do quite often. Additionally, most reference outside of ready reference cannot be done accurately on Google, like medical reference. I am on a listserv of solos and lo behold over five years with Google and librarians still query eachother!

Norma said...

Yes, librarians are being used for the tough stuff, however, if other people use Google like I do (5-10 times a day), we are asking questions we never asked before. I still use books for reference, particularly dictionaries because I don't like the short entries on-line, but for medical research, google gets you into chat rooms and discussion lists long before some stuff might appear in print. Librarians were pleased with their goals of information for the masses until someone came along who did it better. Then the what-ifs began.

Jane_of_art said...

Google only serves up what is out there...and a lot of it is from proprietary sites and junk. Most medical lit all you can get is abstracts and overviews. I agree chat rooms are good, but dead ends until you visit a well-stocked medical library. Sad to say though "patrons" think they've hit the motherload when they find a wiki article. I think Google is great for ready reference, but there is also the Google effect when those great alogrithms pull up info. you think that's it. It's almost too bad you get something for crap searches b/c then you are led to believe you have found all there is... Google serves up definitions and ready reference all badly needed BUT no subsistute for real reference books in any subject. : )