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In my current Update column, I suggest that we can think of three stages of library search in the web era: monolithic search system, metasearch, and data exposure. These put together data, search engine and user interface in different ways.
Hardly a day goes by without another arrangement between an information provider and Google or Yahoo to expose its collections for search on the web. Everybody wants to be `on web’. Google and Yahoo, in turn, are eager to find as many ways as possible of connecting their users to valuable material currently hidden in `off-web’ database silos. Most of the digital resources that libraries manage are currently off web: they do not offer themselves up to the Google user. Increasingly, `on web’ means available in Google. [CILIP | Guest column: The Three Stages of library search]