Naga Chokkanathan

Why Not? — Visit a library

Posted on: May 2, 2011

The last few books I read (all released in the past 6 months or so) had some reference or other to Google every few pages. For example, “I Googled for this person” Or “Google told me to ….” Or “a quick Google search provided me the answer” or “All you need to do is, a simple Google search” etc.,

We all know the impact of Google / other internet search engines in our modern lives, but is it becoming synonymous to “Research”? If yes, are we missing anything? May be, we are settling for convenience and overlooking vast sources of knowledge which are available offline?

I wanted to get to the bottom of this question and started Googling (Ah, Irony!). and I found an interesting article by Mark Y Herring, Which appeared in an offline magazine (Thank God!) “American Libraries”. It is titled “10 Reasons why the internet is no substitute for a Library”. From this article, I have listed few interesting reasons here, You can read the full article at

· Not everything is on internet – Not even 10% of magazines / journals / books are online

· The Needle (your search) is in the Haystack (the web) – even if you use the best search engine out there

· Quality control doesn’t exist in the web – Anyone can write anything, and it is impossible to find out who / what is authentic

· What you don’t know can hurt you

· The Internet: A mile wide, an inch (or less) deep – NOT fit for research

· The Internet is ubiquitous, But books are portable

It is hard to digest for us net-izens, but internet is not all. What I have observed is, use internet as a starting point for your research (on any topic – technical / personal / information oriented) and you get tons of information about offline resources. Don’t be lazy and follow-up on them, that’s when we get a complete picture.

By the way, Do you know there are two nice (and free) libraries inside the famous Bangalore tourist destination CubbonPark? One small library for kids, and another HUGE library for adults. I am yet to check-out the adult library, because every time I go there, I get distracted by the huge comics collection available in the Kids’ library 😉 If you need details on the exact location of these two libraries, buzz me at and I will be happy to help.



N. Chokkan …

02 05 2011


1 Response to "Why Not? — Visit a library"

People used Ural-and-Ulakkai for preparing Rice from paddy at every home. Then they changed to machines in a arisi-mill. Then they changed to buying rice directly. Now they are changing to ready-made cooked items. During every transition someone complained that “you will lose X, Y, Z because of changing to M” but still people changed and had a more peaceful, less-effort life (and ready to compromise on some minor aspects) (like arm-strength in case of nel-kuthal)

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