Finding Findability

Yesterday, I received an unusually high volume of fan mail about Ambient Findability. I already posted one message. Here's the other:

Mr. Morville:

I've had various roles in the computing business since the mid '80's and am now in the business of acquiring marketing and customer satisfaction information for bank executives. Ambient Findability is the most important book on information I have ever read. It's helping me personally and professionally. I can hardly believe how many good ideas are in the book. It's incredible. Thank you very much for writing it.

I am recommending it to everyone I work with in the computing and information business, and keep a copy of it handy at my desk so I can show it to people.

I thought you'd like to know how I came to find Ambient Findability: About a month ago my 9th grade son started a school science project, and part of the required work was to prepare a bibliography. When I asked to see his work I was aghast to see that all of the references in the bibliography were found on the Web using Google. He had not even considered using a library for this task. I insisted that he needed to find sources that were known to be authoritative and that we would go to the library at once to research it. The library had not opened yet, so we went across the street to Barnes and Noble and went to the Science section to start looking for references. While there, I wandered into the Engineering section and found your book by happenstance, started reading it, and bought it before we left.

Because his subject was a bit unusual, I explained the importance of reference librarians and how they can help find materials to support research. We went to the library, introduced ourselves to the reference librarian, and subsequently found good quality information that he needed. Although he found the critical information he needed to form his hypothesis in a book, I don't believe he took that exercise seriously, and seems to think it's odd that Google isn't sufficient for academic work. Our next conversation on this subject will be about how free technology isn't a complete answer, just partial, and needs to be augmented by a variety of other media, including for-fee online services.

Best regards,

Rudy Smith

Ham Lake, MN

I love hearing how people found the lemur book, and it's good to hear a first-person story about the challenges of selecting sources and evaluating authority. So, keep those email messages coming. Cheers!