Where does the world search?
From a BBC technology report, a study from comScore relates that Google is the most dominant search provider in the world.
Users performed more than 37 billion searches via Google, more than all the other major search engines combined.
This may seem disheartening to many in the library field, as this means that users are becoming more and more reliant on Google for their information searching needs. I tend to believe that even though this may seem shocking to some, it lights a path towards where our thoughts on library search designs should progress.
I blogged in an earlier post about Firefox extensions designed to lead a search on Amazon, or any other service utilizing ISBN’s, back to your own library holdings. This helped if your library was included in the list of accessible library catalogs, but even this didn’t help connect journal articles to library holdings. There is a Firefox extension which helps bridge that gap.
The Open URL Referrer links citations in Google Scholar, Google News, or any site containing COinS. The extension allows you to set up your full text service (SFX) and then allow the search results to link themselves to your holdings. This may seem like cheating the library, but the re-resolved link takes you into the library service point and not the direct article. To me, if the users are already in Google looking for citations, why not give them a way to jump directly into your library?
Whether we start designing our OPAC interfaces more akin to the Google way, or if we start redirecting users back from Google, the truth is that the big G isn’t going to be going away anytime soon. So why not make the best out of an estranged relation?