[Web4lib] RE: Another Google question

Drew, Bill drewwe at MORRISVILLE.EDU
Fri Jul 15 14:18:16 EDT 2005

Maybe Google has it right and we have it wrong by thinking how they
"should" search. Our catalogs are the ones with the intellectual
limitations.  Our OPACs tend to make the wrong assumptions about how
people search.

Bill Drew
drewwe at morrisville.edu

> One of the things that I think we can conclude about Google, 
> and that it 
> should  be possible to study, is that people tend to approach search 
> engines with a version of the library world's "known item" 
> search. You 
> are looking for someone or some page that you know exists or 
> are pretty 
> sure should exist. (After all, why go searching for something 
> that might 
> not be there?) You have an "identifier" in mind that you will use for 
> this search. What Google has done brilliantly is respond to the way 
> people search, not how we think they *should* search (which 
> is more the 
> philosophy behind library catalogs). But that also means that Google 
> embodies the intellectual limitations of the average person's search 
> techniques.

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