/ 6 May 2004

Boy, is that ever a dull term! We think a lot in libraries about how we can put more information at the fingertips of our users with just a single search. MetaSearch attempts to knit together our patchwork quilt of vendors and databases into one unified set of results for users. Fat chance! All we seem to be able to do is slow down search results and present a hodgepodge of unlikely-bedfellow results. Still, metasearch is a worthy goal and we keep trying. I think Amazon is demonstrating an interesting alternative model with it’s service. There you will find websearch results from Google in one column and a set of results from Amazon in a second column. This is in some ways similar to the multiple layers of results found at Teoma. Can we apply this to library systems? Could we show Google results side by side with results from our local resources? If we don’t, will Google eat our lunch anyway, especially now that they are negotiating with commercial vendors to bring more of the “dark web” to light?

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