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Libraries are Free to Users and so is Google . . .

I asked some library folk why Google was so popular. They answered that it’s magic sauce was that it was free. I countered with “How much does your library charge?”

Most libraries are free to users and so is Google . . . so what is the difference?

First, let’s look at Google’s business model:

How Google Takes 54 Cents From Every Dollar Spent On Web Advertising

So I think we need to make a a chart of what the differences are between Google and Libraries. Obviously “free” is not enough. (And clearly I am working on an article about this . . . so help me out in the comments)

Quickly off the top of my head (5 minutes or so):

Libraries have:

– real, professionally trained staff that help
– a bias towards quality
– geographic proximity with communities
– alignment with learning or community goals
– hard copy and electronic resources
– a bias towards patron privavcy and confidentiality
– bridges across the economic and ability divide
– trust

Google has:

– more stuff
– a neat algorithm
– a unified brand
– a mobile strategy at the point of need
– only focuses on the big stuff



Posted on: May 31, 2011, 2:24 pm Category: Uncategorized