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Top Reference Questions

You know I continue to be surprised by the huge difference in the top questions in libraries and what the same consumers do online in Wikipedia and search engines.
Top 100 Most Visited Articles on Wikipedia in 2009
I suppose I shouldn’t be but I am.
I guess if we’re not even competing on the same questions, we’re not really competing at all?

Posted on: September 30, 2009, 12:07 pm Category: Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. Yep – definitely no “where’s the bathroom” questions on that list [David quickly ducks out of the way] 🙂

  2. I can be sure that anyone coming to the desk has tried to google their answer before ending up having to deal with me…and if they’ve found the answer, they never make it to the Reference Desk. Our work (I’m in an academic library), consequently, starts much further down the research path than it once did–and our interactions with patrons are getting longer and more complex. There are few quick questions or easy answers anymore (aside from “where is the bathroom” which is perennial). Now it’s instruction…teaching people to search and to evaluate what they are finding. I don’t know if it’s better or worse, but I think you are right that we aren’t even trying to compete with Google anymore.

  3. it may be far apart if you are comparing QUESTIONS but if you are looking for similarities in INTEREST, there is a lot there that crosses over… these are the TV shows, movies and music that circulated the most in our collections, these are the websites visited the most on our public computers, and the hot topics, current events our users were researching too. no?