Coco’s Convenience and Its Discontents: Teaching Web-Scale Discovery in the Context of Google was of particular interest to me because of my mild skepticism towards discovery tools and because I think that bibliographic instruction and information literacy for students is very important. I mean, I think we all do, but there are institutions where it is regrettably underemphasized. I feel strongly about this because I may or may not have witnessed such underemphasis firsthand (not at UA, of course!).
Coco observes that providing tools that are similar to commercial search engines may give both students and decision-makers the impression that information literacy isn’t important. As he points out, though, just because discovery tools are similar to Google doesn’t mean that they’re identical! I would add that there are many who simply haven’t learned to use Google efficiently as well.
I say mild skepticism above because I agree with Coco that discovery is useful for things like “citation chasing” (I would not be able to say that phrase three times fast, or even once), but I think that federated search is more practical when it’s limited to one type of information resource, such as journal databases. But that’s just my opinion.
I suppose my point is that good metadata is valuable, but there’s only so much that it can do, and instruction on how to navigate systems is still necessary and will be for a long time.