Google Library Project and happiness?

Two interesting pieces from The Guardian this week. The first is an article in the Education section by John Sutherland which focuses on the Google Library Project, which Google actually call Google Books Library Project. The article is generally supportive of the project, which has been controversial e.g. in terms of how legal the project might be and the effect it might have on book sales. Sutherland’s article is also about the reliability of Google’s indexing and thus the ability of people to search for information which might be in the books Google is making (partly) available online. Sutherland makes a good point about Google controlling the indexing and thus controlling, in some ways, access to information. In short, we will get what Google thinks we shouldget – maybe not what we want. Given that students in our schools see Google often as theway to access information, we should be finding a way of telling the students that, while Google can tell you a lot, it may not be telling you everything.

The second article is a review of a book called The Geography of Bliss – now this is not about the Bliss classification system, which some of you alert librarians (of a certain age?) may have come across in your studies or in an actual library. It is about happiness and the review has a great opening line “How happy are you? On a scale of desolate to rapturous, do you make it much past OK?”. One of the interesting comments in the review is about university degrees and states that while undergraduate degrees make us more happy, “advanced degrees bring us down”. Of course, as a teacher of Masters degree teacher librarianship students, I would have to say that this is unsubstantiated rubbish – but of course, I haven’t read the book, only the review. It must be all about context and subject – I hope.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: