INTERNET WAVES: An Internet-Fueled Illusion — from Information Today

If you’ve been an information professional for any length of time, someone has probably said to you something like this, “You’re so smart. You know everything.” And you probably replied with something like this, “I don’t know everything, but I usually know where to find it.” It happened to me recently at work; someone asked for a particular statistic, and I was able to come up with it almost instantly because I recalled having seen it within the last week or so. You’ve probably been there; librarians, almost by definition, read widely and mentally organize the information we ingest.

Sometimes, we fire off a few pithy reference interview questions to narrow the scope. We think about who would have a particular/vested interest in collecting/maintaining/storing certain information. A government agency? A trade association? But it always needs to be a legitimate source. Other people may be satisfied with something culled from the first page of Google search results. But not us.

How many times has someone asked you to verify something he “found on the internet”? Depending on where you work and what you do, you could hear this several times a day.

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