Magazine article Library Administrator's Digest

Growth

Magazine article Library Administrator's Digest

Growth

Article excerpt

I read this in this morning's paper, in an article describing the large amount of electronic gear coming into homes at Christmas, and the technical problems that arise as a result:

"There are 140 million personal computers in use in the United States. By 2009 that number will jump to 148 million, says Massachusetts-based market research firm IDC. Sales of personal electronics were expected to jump by 9 percent this holiday season to $123 billion, the Consumer Electronics Association forecast."

The article discussed the growth in the number of service calls to homes necessitated by the complications of setting up and using all this electronic stuff, but I was chiefly interested in the comment about the number of computers, 148 million, in just three years. That's about a 50 percent growth, and it probably doesn't take into account replacements. Considering the fact that computers seem to start their obsolescence on the way home from the store, there are going to be a lot of new computers purchased. And with these computers a lot of new software.

And guess what, the largest growth in software seems to be search engines. Gee, look at Google and its stock price.

Think about it: Google is a pretty effective reference librarian. For years public libraries have called themselves "the information place," but hardly anyone used them for information, according to a number of studies over the years. Of course, they didn't use much of anything else, either.

Now, with search engines right at home, answering practically any reference question is easy (don't talk to me about accuracy - no one cares much). …

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