Librarians, suddenly popular

A recent television ad from Ask.com [you need a media player], “Librarians Love Ask.” (According to ResourceShelf, this ad was filmed in the library at Rutgers University and features unscripted comments from Ask’s head of search technology, Apostolos Gerasoulis).

In the meantime, Google is planning to shoot a “movie” on librarians and how they love Google; the audience is librarians, and the movie will be shown at ALA.

What is up with the search engine industry showering attention on librarians? Not that I don’t think that we information professionals deserve it, but it’s odd to be suddenly popular. I’ve long touted librarianship as the “stealth cool career,” but maybe we are no longer stealth.

Do librarians and other information professionals “love” search engines? I’m not so sure. I do know that the expectations that search engines have installed in our communities are keeping us on our toes and providing reasons to improve services, be more aggressive in heightening awareness about our institutions and services, and honing our missions in order to remain relevant. These are all good things, albeit painful.

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