So I really hate KGB. Really.  So much so that they found my rants on Twitter and tried to lure me into their dark and evil fold.  The idea is nice, sure, but why pay a buck a question when you're likely already paying for a better service?

I'm talking about your local library.

Sure, you're library isn't open 24 hours a day, but the reference staff is better equipped to answer your question, not to mention better compensated for doing so. And, if your library is like mine, you're already paying for library service through your property taxes. Or, if you rent, your landlord is.  But I bet he passed the buck when he set your rent.

Anyway, what I'm getting at is this.

I really want to show KGB up.  The library where I work is going live with a "Text a Librarian" service on July 1.  Other libraries have similar services, so check with your local library.  If they don't have it (or even if they do), text a question to 605-415-1826 on July 1 between 9AM and 8PM MDT (2 hours behind Eastern).  Play Stump the Librarian if you want!  But I so want to shove this in KGB's face.

Even if you don't text us on July 1, use your local library for everything it has to offer.  Use their wireless. Call their reference desk.  Check out their programs.  Libraries are suffering right now due to cities/counties/etc. looking for an easy way to cut their budgets, despite the fact that library use skyrockets in economic downturns.

Tags: economy, kgb, libraries, library, reference, stump the librarian, texting

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So... what is KGB?
KGB is a company that you can send a text message to, and they send you an answer. They've had several commercials as part of their ad campaign, and they're aimed at a range of potential users. For instance, one is two guys trying to settle a bar bet. Another is two girls wanting a drink recipe. There is even one with students in a college course. In the commercials, they make themselves out to be this sort of call center full of people waiting to answer questions, but the real people who do it are just freelance folks who get paid next to nothing per answer. It's really rather sad.
Why KGB (542542) Sucks and What You Can Do About It!

You've said nothing about why the service sucks. You're on team library and you're too cheap to blow a dollar. That doesn't mean KGB sucks. Their service only sucks if they can't provide answers.
KGB misrepresents its operation. They pay the people doing the actual work they are charging for next to nothing per answer. As an operation, sure, it's capitalism at it's heart. But the vast majority of people are already paying for library services. In addition, whereas a library can and will gladly give a person the skills they need to find information on their own, KGB doesn't.

(Points one and two were in my comment to j(tm). Sorry if they were unclear, or if I made myself out to be "cheap." I care about the state of libraries in the world today, which is none too cozy despite all they provide.)


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