Amy Fry, a San Diego librarian, has a thoughtful little post on ACRLog called “Information Is Power — Even When It’s Wrong.” It’s basically a dissection of the United Airlines stock-value dive that occurred after a reporter from Income Securities Advisors posted erroneous information that he had gotten from a Google search.
For the average librarian, the event provides a series of lessons: that “proper metadata is important” or that “sometimes aggregators are misleading.”
But a big lesson for Ms. Fry: “Google is more powerful than we even realized.”
“If any one of you has been underestimating the role of Google in the information food chain, STOP,” she writes. “As more and more information is accessed through and archived by private companies …, librarians must take on greater responsibilities as watchdogs for the public interest. Even if our roles are changing, our mission must not.”
Now, could the headline of her item be applied to the current presidential race? People have already remarked on the power of the Internet in the current race — but to what end? —Scott Carlson