Google’s news your staff needs to know

Many library staff members who work directly with the public continue to have less than timely understanding of how the World Wide Web is used and can be used, how search engines function, and the roles of software and browser settings in their own and their library computer users’ searching and search results. With those realities in mind, it’s important to make sure that your library staff understands the meaning and import of the announcement made by Google on Saturday.

The subject of child pornography is certainly a difficult one to discuss in a constructive manner. However, a discussion of it is pertinent to the provision of library services that are relevant in terms of social and political realities (on an international as well as a local scale), the functionalities of internet browsing and image searching, and the management of both in library user behavior and staff roles related to user behavior.

Certainly the announcement from Google provides a platform for such discussions with staff. The possibilities for outcomes well beyond staff member understanding of the implications of the announcement on their work is enormous.

To aid these discussions, please refer to the Flipboard magazine linked here for a collection of online resources addressing definitions, basic browser setting information and news discussions of Google’s announcement. [Note: some relevant resources contained in this resource guide are British and are not intended to be used as legal information, but rather because they outline an illuminating array of considerations, staff knowledge and awareness needs, and international concerns that may be an aspect of a local situation.]