Librarians Rule!

Who would have thought it, but librarians are now the hippest kids on the technology block. A number of the most interesting talks I have heard in recent months have been by librarians, and two of the blogs of which I am most fond are librarian-centric (ResourceShelf and Library Stuff).

How/why did it happen? Because what people are rediscovering is that in a search-centric world professionals who are trained and experienced in finding information have interesting insights. Librarians get search, and, more specifically, they get verticalized search. They understand where Google is valuable, but they also understand its blind spots and thin areas. They get that Google Scholar is great, but they are also the first to point out that search without the ability to limit it by date, domain, and publication is not really scholarly search at all.

Now, those of you who know me will aver that I’m only saying this because my cousin Ruth is a librarian, and now and then I bunk there. Guilty on both counts: Ruth is a hip librarian, and I do visit her in Vancouver now and then. But my points still stands in a Ruth-less world of librarians. I’m just irritated that it took me this long to figure out how insightful librarians have become.


  1. Not sure I agree. The paper library is on borrowed time. Relevancy algorithms are in their infancy. Even five years out, all of the shortcomings these people are exploiting will be closed off.
    The librarians of the future will be *feeding* relevance algorithms, not skimming them. See: SEO analysts.