Google’s Latest Hotspot: Librarian Central

    January 19, 2007

Google wants to speak – presumably using an “inside voice” – with librarians. To facilitate this, the search engine company has launched the Librarian Central blog. And while some of us might just accept that information and move on, there have been some surprisingly strong reactions to the development.

Steven M. Cohen (of the Library Stuff blog) complained that Google “doesn’t ‘get’ librarians.” Librarian Central’s original banner featured an illustration of three books, you see, and the current image depicts the outside of a library; these symbols are apparently too tame for Cohen’s tastes.

“Am I the only one who finds this odd?” he asked. “Isn’t this a big deal? If they understood librarians (and not just cared about us for our books), they would put a ‘sexier’ image up there.”

The lo-fi librarian blog didn’t object to Librarian Central’s graphics, but it did discover a problem with Google’s newest creation: “[N]aughty Librarian Central Blog does not give readers the option of leaving comments in the usual fashion, making feedback a bit difficult. If you want to leave a comment you need to email them, very odd and really not in the spirit of a blog at all.”

In terms of a review, the low-fi librarian offered, “I personally can’t see this being a must read, but I hope to be proved wrong.”

Such responses could be a bit of a letdown for Google. A member of the company’s Librarian Outreach Team felt that it was “implementing one of your biggest requests,” according to a post on Librarian Central. “We’ve taken your feedback to heart,” professed Pamela Saenger.

If you’re interested in seeing the subject of all this controversy (and/or reasonable dialogue), you can view Librarian Central for yourself here.


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Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.