Search vs. Discovery

Fortune magazine has an interesting article this month The Race to Create a smart "Google" which speaks to the notion of creating discovery options via recommendation systems rather then simply focusing on generating good search results. The article's a good read, but this particular passage caught my fancy ...

"The Web, they say, is leaving the era of search and entering one of discovery. What's the difference? Search is what you do when you're looking for something. Discovery is when something wonderful that you didn't know existed, or didn't know how to ask for, finds you."

... and it made me ponder this related thought -- that "discovery" is really one of those notions that helps set librarians apart. Those that excel at their skills know how to turn a simple homework help inquiry or a readers' advisory question into an "ah-ha" moment with sparks of brilliance. :)

On another thought (which is back to the original point of the article)... how do library catalogs currently address "discovery"? Or perhaps the better question is, how should we?

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