Wow, Google must be thrilled by all the free press and panic they’re getting from librarians with their brand new offering, Google Scholar. I’d put in my two cents, but I really don’t have much to add when it’s been covered by just about every blog I read. Instead, enjoy some insights on Google’s new scholarly search tool from Librarian’s Blog, fromShirl Kennedy and Gary Price (who question what Google considers a “scholarly article”) in Resource Shelf, from Research Buzz, and from Free Range Librarian.
But I think the Digital Librarian had the best insights into Google Scholar and what libraries should be doing about it. I agree that we should be talking less about the quality of Google Scholar, and asking ourselves what it offers that we don’t at libraries? Why do people like it so darn much? Google has become so popular that the word itself is often used as a verb, and people are using Google instead of doing research on library databases. Why is that? And what can libraries do about that? We need to harness the search capabilities and usability of Google to retrieve the quality content that libraries and publishing companies have. We need to create portals that offer federated searching. Searching must become more seamless for the user, which will make a lot more work for librarians and techies. At libraries, we may have better quality material, but no one will know that if we don’t make visiting the library and using its e-resources as simple an experience as using Google. And our vendors really aren’t offering us many options for doing this. In her blog last week, Jessamyn asks “Why doesn’t the library community band together to do some collaborative software development and free ourselves from vendor tyranny?” Good question.