Librarians are helpful, Google less so

I spent way too much time trying to find a list of the magazines that Google has added to Google Books this week with so very little luck.  After a bit, I gave up and just did an Advanced search limited to “magazines” with the word “the” in them.  Nice, huh?

Naturally, it took a librarian, Eric Rumsey of Seeing the Picture, to create a tidy little title list with holdings.

After I sent an email out about Google’s magazines,  a reference assistant turned to me and lamented that Google just went and made it that much more difficult for us to convince students to use Library resources over those freely-available on the internet.  It’s so clear to us in the Library that databases are far superior to Google Books/Magazines/Newspaper/Scholar in ever so many ways, but all the indexing, cross-referencing, controlled vocabulary, search granularity can’t make up for the one thing Google does have over databases:  convenience.  Why bother with indexing tools when you can just slap your content onto the Google and set it free, yeah?  Got a question about how to use it?  Well, let me Google that for you…

So thanks, Eric, for providing an essentially useful tool to Google’s magazine collection.

And, Google, thanks for nothing.

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