Le NY Times propose un article très intéressant sur les évolutions du métier de documentaliste relatives à l’utilisation massive des outils de recherche web par les étudiants et les professeurs. Extraits:
For the last few years, librarians have increasingly seen people use online search sites not to supplement research libraries but to replace them. Yet only recently have librarians stopped lamenting the trend and started working to close the gap between traditional scholarly research and the incomplete, often random results of a Google search.
Ms. Wittenberg’s group recently finished a three-year study of research habits, including surveys of 1,233 students across the country, that concluded that electronic resources have become the main tool for information gathering, particularly among undergraduates.
In the Columbia survey, 90 percent of the faculty members who responded said they used electronic resources in their research several times a week or more. Nearly all said it was a valuable resource.
A few research librarians say Google could eventually take on more of the role of a universal library.
"If you could use Google to just look across digital libraries, into any digital library collection, now that would be cool," said Daniel Greenstein, university librarian of the California Digital Library, the digital branch of the University of California library system.
"It would help libraries achieve something that we haven’t yet been able to achieve by ourselves," Dr. Greenstein said, "which is to place all of our publicly accessible digital library collections in a common pool."
Reference librarians are trying to bring material from the deep Web to the surface. In recent months, dozens of research libraries began working with Google and other search engines to help put their collections within reach of a broader public.
Other search sites are striking similar deals. Yahoo recently signed an agreement with the online library center to index its catalogs, and four months ago, it started carrying out a plan to make more of the deep Web reachable through Yahoo.
Many experts, even those who specialize in digital material, say that losing the tactile experience of books and relying too heavily on electronic resources is certain to exact a price.
"How do you know it’s the appropriate universe from which to draw your research materials?" said Dr. Greenstein. "It has huge ramifications for the nature of instruction and scholarship.
"You can think of electronic research as a more impoverished experience," Dr. Janes said. "But in some ways it’s a richer one, because you have so much more access to so much more information. The potential is there for this to be a real bonus to humanity, because we can see more and read more and do more with it. But it is going to be very different in lots of ways."