LITA Program – The Ultimate Debate: Who Controls the Future of Search?

Date: Saturday, June 24
Time: 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Place: Morial Convention Center 388-390

Be it resolved that the future of search will occur without library influence. Will libraries continue their vital role in the evolution of search, or will we be left in the dust by Google and their ilk? You won’t want to miss this provocative debate on the future of library influence on search technology. Come and be a part of this Ultimate Debate, sponsored by the LITA Internet Resources Interest Group.

Moderator: Roy Tennant. The debaters: Stephen Abram and Joe Janes.

The debate will be guided by several questions, including:

  • Will search services offered by large commercial companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! replace the need for libraries?
  • Should libraries cooperate with commercial companies by giving them our metadata and/or content (Open WorldCat, Google Scholar, Google Book Search, etc.)?
  • What qualities would Google Scholar, Microsoft Live Academic, or similar free commercial search services need to have before libraries abandon the creation of their own metasearch services? Or has that point already been reached?
  • Will libraries incorporate some of the better dot-com search technologies into their own search products, such as their catalogs? For example: better interface design, relevance ranking, alternate spelling suggestions, faceted browsing, etc.
  • Will our users’ increasing familiarity and comfort with large central search services like Google and Open WorldCat render local library catalogs obsolete?
  • What is your worst nightmare and your finest vision for the future of library search services, and what is your level of confidence in achieving either?

In addition, audience members will be invited to pose their own debate questions.