Tonawanda News

Opinion

May 29, 2014

WALLACE: Just Google it

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — I can’t tell you how often I find myself saying, “I’ll just Google it.” Google is even used as a verb in current vernacular. 

Aside from just finding random answers to trivia questions, the easy, instant access to information in the digital age makes it easier for students to do their school work. 

When I was a kid growing up in the 70s and 80s, we used to have to actually go to the library to do research and check out books using the card catalog. Infomercials on television advertised volumes of encyclopedias to purchase for your home use. Sets like Encyclopedia Britannica were even sold by door-to-door salesmen and it was a status symbol if you had the entire set. We never could afford those sets so it was always off to the library for me. 

I honestly don’t know if children these days even know what an encyclopedia is or how to use one.

Today, trips to the library are almost obsolete. My children can find almost any book online and research any topic on the Internet. Journals, papers, biographies, fiction and nonfiction books are all available with just a click of the mouse. Even the term mouse is becoming “so five years ago” with the advent of tablets and touch screens. 

With the introduction of the Overdrive Media Console, a digital distribution service for libraries, schools, and retailers that includes 28,000 library branches and over 1 million titles, you can have instant access to library titles via your laptop or tablet.

No more waiting and wondering, now every possible answer is immediately available at your fingertips. 

Are we smarter because of this instant access to information? I don’t know, I honestly don’t think so. We may have more trivia-type knowledge at the ready but are we really learning more? I guess that will be for the researchers to decide. 

But I do like not having to hope an answer will just come to me at some point, now I can just Google it. 

Amy Wallace is the city editor of the Tonawanda News. Contact her at amy.wallace@tonawanda-news.com.

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