Ask A Librarian.
October 20, 2002 2:35 PM   Subscribe

Ask A Librarian. The Library of Congress's answer to Google Answers.
posted by skwm (9 comments total)
The library is always my second choice for finding information. (After my own Google search.) This is a good service, but don't forget your local library. They may also have an on-line service.
posted by ?! at 4:11 PM on October 20, 2002

*sigh* The stuff of a librarian's nightmare -- "if it's not on the Internet, it doesn't exist." Not everything can be found via search engines (for example, many journal articles--though these can often be accessed via electronic databases to which your local library may have a subscription).

As for Google Answers, here's a revealing profile of one librarian's experience working as a researcher for Google Answers, and here's how she got fired.
posted by initapplette at 8:45 PM on October 20, 2002

Thanks for the pointer skwm - I wasn't aware of this service. In fact, I hadn't been to the LOC index pages in some time, so it's a good reminder - looks like they have made progress in the search/research offerings.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:55 PM on October 20, 2002

There are lots of other Ask a Librarian sites, as shown on this dmoz open directory page (which is edited by a MeFi member already mentioned in this thread).
posted by gluechunk at 9:18 PM on October 20, 2002

initapplette, thanks for the fascinating links.
posted by tweebiscuit at 9:30 PM on October 20, 2002

Who needs a librarian when you can ask Moses.
posted by zimbobzim at 3:07 AM on October 21, 2002

initapplette :

I don't get your reference to "if it's not on the Internet, it doesn't exist." Is that a google search reference? 'cause ask a librarian is nothing like that.
posted by das_2099 at 5:57 AM on October 21, 2002

Sorry that wasn't clear. I was responding to ?!'s comment that s/he goes to the library second, after first doing a Google search. Next time I will remember to quote from the post I am replying to.
posted by initapplette at 7:22 AM on October 21, 2002

I found the library of congress folks less than helpful. they're great if you have a question in one of their subject areas. less so if you have, say, a law history question. I did and my question went into the void and never came back. meanwhile, Google Answers has a new policy about not talking about your job publicly [online or in print] without passing your words through Google's corporate communications first. Feh. I actually technically resigned before they could fire me [edited story forthcoming]. Colin Powell is the latest in a series of goofballs who think that Google = Internet = All Knowledge. Lord help him.
posted by jessamyn at 4:36 PM on October 21, 2002

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