This article presents the consequences to librarians and teachers for the flattening of expertise, or the Google Effect. As blogs continue to fill the Web with the bizarre daily rituals and opinions of people who we would never bother speaking to at a party, let alone invite into our homes, there has never been a greater need to stress the importance of intelligence, education, credentials and credibility. The problem is not only accuracy, but also the mediocrity initiated through the Google Effect. The concern is not with the banality of information – there has always been a plurality of sources in the analogue environment. The concern is the lack of literacy skills and strategies to sort the trash from the relevant. This paper addresses not only the social choices about computer use and information literacy, but the intellectual choices we make in our professional lives as teachers and librarians. In such a time, the Google Effect raises stark questions about the value of reading, research, writing and scholarship.
© 2006 by K. G. Saur Verlag, Federal Republic of Germany