Are Search Engines Taking Over Libraries?

There’s hardly any information you won’t get on google. It is’nt the world’s largest and most used search engine for nothing.

Let’s consider a short history of google.. It started out as a project for two computer scientists, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, in 1996. Both were students at Stanford university, California. Instead of the more conventional approach of using number of times a keyword appeared on a page to rate a webpage, they now employed the pagerank method of using the number of backlinks a site had existing on other sites. It was incorporated in ’98.

To quote one site, “google now holds monopoly of search engines”. 80% of search referrals- 1 billion search requests per day, comes from google. It has bought a number of companies and extended its partnership and now offers a good range of services; Google Analytic, Google Earth, Google Map, Auzz and others.

Of course there are other search engines that are probably as good or that people still would rate high. Ones like Yahoo, bing!. Then Swagbucks, Dogpile, Yandex, Blogscope, so on.

Occasionally, some thought pops up in my mind like, how is something done?, when was this started?, what’s the history of this activity?, who’s this character?, where would be the best place to buy this?, how often do experts think this should be done?, what’s the best way to prepare this dish?. I’d think of how search engines have made research and life easier by existing. True, some critics say search engines foster laziness, as with a click of the mouse and the right keyword, all or most of the information you need is made available to you.

While search engines are increasingly becoming a part of civilisation, though, libraries, the main means of getting information before search engines, appear to be going into extinction. Or not. At least, not yet.

According to a study conducted by Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, a good number of people still appreciate the more traditional role of libraries; access to print material, professional librarians.. Libraries can be a reference source with a personal touch. Of course ,libraries also offer more. Online resources are available but often, according to a librarian that was part of the above mentioned study, “these go unknown and unused”. Obviously awareness of these resources has to be created as this infact means that you do not have go to the library, if you don’t want to. You can access the library on your PC as much as you can search engines. This of course’ll mean even more services would be accessible online, such as borrowing.

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