Big surprise from comScore on search engine usage:
"comScore Networks today released its monthly qSearch analysis of activity across competitive search engines. In June 2006, Google gained in search market share for the eleventh consecutive month and maintained its status as market leader with 44.7 percent of searches conducted on its sites. Yahoo! remained in second place while increasing its share to 28.5 percent, and MSN ranked third with 12.8 percent."
Available here http://www.comscore.com/press/release.asp?press=935
It brings up a thought that when people used to seek information, their first place was either a library, or a personal encyclopedia set, but it was never the internet (it wasn’t invented :) ).
The Public Library provided that information that was paid by the taxpayer and was the giver and guardian of information. Its basic tenant was (and still is) to be non-political, have all sides open, and provide access to as many people in a non-biased way. Much of the information now is available through search engine companies that are proprietary and only beholden to their shareholders. Is there a responsibility from companies such as Google to make sure they have even attention to all information, open access to all? From a business perspective, no way, from an information perspective they have to. Otherwise what is to stop them from doing to the United States what they are doing in China? Not that public libraries were ever immune to that, and you can look at totalitarian regimes to see that. It is critical that libraries continue the job that they are doing providing free and non-biased access to all information. It seems like libraries in the United Kingdom did not keep up as well as libraries in the United States and the results are not pretty.
I guess the purpose here is to keep up the good work that public libraries are doing!