The Googlization of Libraries: Debunking the Internet Godzilla Myth (Updated)

I’m sad with all the excitement this week I couldn’t zip right back to River Forest, IL for the Dominican University Second Annual Follett Lecture, presented last night by Ed Valauskas. The title: The Googlization of Libraries: Debunking the Internet Godzilla Myth.

Some students and colleagues were there last night, and here are some of their reports:

Natalie, one of my students from last semster, reports at Who Moved my Library: (I love that name!)

Libraries do have an uphill battle when it comes to public perception that everything is “Free” on the internet. I agree with Ed that dismissing the role that Google and other Web 2.0 offerings play in libraries is not going to make them go away. Instead librarians should find ways to add value, for themselves and their libraries, to strengthen the role of libraries instead of turning a blind eye and hoping that they just go away.

Jenny reports in her superb note-taking style: (bolding below is mine)

but wait…. thinks Google is doing us a huge favor by decreasing costs of storage, increasing demand for online content, easier digitization – why not digitize and have libraries, too!

the truth is that digitizing helps print titles

librarians can: bring back out-of-print works, organize to create our own large-scale digitization project – in Chicago, more than 20 million items (regional centers to digitize local materials)

library schools must: train librarian-avatars of the future

And this gem, a fictional view of what could happen in 2015:

2015: Libraries close, print is sold on ebay; Michael Gorman reminds us from his blog that he warned librarianship of the dangers of digitization “only the bloggers really cared about what I said”

I’ll update this post with more links as I get them. If anyone was there and blogged it, send me a link!

UPDATE: The Hip Librarian agrees:

We (librarians) need to embrace the digital age within which we live–it’s not going away. Our patrons want their information needs met “yesterday” and thus, easily searchable, digital collections need to be made available and accessible. Google has taken many hits–especially in the copyright debate–for libraries. Why not let them? They have the money and the power to do so, right? They’ll fight our battles while creating highly efficient search engines for us (Google Scholar is slowly, but surely getting there) and we’ll continue to provide our value-added service with a smile–oh the world could be perfect, couldn’t it!?