Google generation and virtual libraries

pin.jpgPeople have very different information needs at different points in their lives. People also search for information very differently depending on the knowledge they have of search techniques or the nature of the interface that is being interrogated.

A new report Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future provides a comprehensive analysis of information behaviours, google gen and social networking behaviour, and the implications of this for the information environment and libraries – and includes the challenges we face.

Is the Google Generation a myth? This new report, which was commissioned by JISC and the British Library, counters the common assumption that the ‘Google Generation’ – young people born or brought up in the Internet age – is the most adept at using the web.

Lets face it – there is a world of difference between social networking conversations and in-depth information requirements, knowledge building and development. It is in this area that the report explains

that people are having great difficulties navigating and profiting from the virtual scholarly environment.

The report provides a strong message for library services, and significantly it also raises the issue of the semantic web – a topic of conversation on Twitter a few days ago.

The world wide web as we have seen and experienced it so far could be completely revolutionised by the advent of the `semantic web’. A system where, currently, humans express simple searches in everyday language, to order groceries, reserve a library book or look up a railway timetable, could be superseded by a system in which computers become capable of analysing all the data on the web.

Good Information Architecture will become more and more critical if the semantic web is to deliver information effectively.

Twitter conversation:

@heyjudeonline Web design juxtaposed against information design – now there’s a pretty challenge yet basic building blocks for semantic web.

@Tuna XML mainly as RDF is just lacking in practical application in real world schema (dodges flames)

@Heyjudeonline real world schema is the real issue isn’t it. Structured approaches and metadata were the first line of attack in web

@Tuna correct.. the break out of the meta information flow is critical to the webs development beyond a search farm. We can direct and translate and ensure like goes with like or people have the chance to join their like with like

@heyjudeonline exactly! We know that single data domains with simple keyword tools are rapidly obsolete. Move beyond RDF resource primer

3 thoughts on “Google generation and virtual libraries

  1. Hi Judy,

    Fascinating stuff. Logically speaking though, it all stands to reason that an information expert in traditional print media can, with some fine tuning, become an information expert on the web. I agree that it doesn’t have to be generational at all, but literacy and the “old dog-new tricks” tendencies do play a strong part.

    M

  2. Hello Jude
    the debate that’s going on over on the Economist.com http://www.economist.com/debate/ about whether social networks do/can/will have a positive impact on education is an interesting one relevant to your posting here. I guess part of the issue is whether social networking ever helps us get to the solid, authoritative “knowledge”. Looking at what you manage to do in you blog, I’s say it does. But is a blog rol a social network? Or is a Social network a more formal structure. Does a defined social network like me.edu.au or FaceBook or a Ning community have to be distinguished from my personal online social network – is that my persoanl learning environment?
    Perhaps it is the old story of people being unable to discern authoritative sources of information from the trivial. Can blogs be an authoritative source?

  3. Pingback: Christian » Google generation and virtual libraries

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