Information and the Future

This is the blog of the Information and the Future task force of the Rolfing Library at Trinity International University. The IF task force exists to explore the role of libraries in the future of Christian higher education.

Monday, June 08, 2009

New search engine

I was just reading this article about a new search engine that's supposed to answer your questions directly, instead of directing you to websites:
Like Google, Only Much, Much Worse

For example, you can ask the box office results for a movie, and it will give you the dollar amount. The problem that the article points out is that it's limited in its scope. It searches reference works like CIA World Factbook, U.S. Census reports, Wikipedia, and "about nine-tenths of what you'd see on the main shelves of a reference library." So it points out that it's not able to answer as many questions as a Google search can.

I find it interesting that this limitation is the same one that we have for our print reference collections. It is now sadly true that for many questions, you can't find the answer in a reference book and it's better to go to Google. (Reliability questions aside)