Infomancy n. 1.The field of magic related to the conjuring of information from the chaos of the universe. 2.The collection of terms, queries, and actions related to the retrieval of information from arcane sources.

Follett Cognite – Details

March 17th, 2010 by infomancy

This was posted as a comment on Cathy Nelson’s post about my letter to Follett Software about Cognite.

In response to some questions about details, Follett doesn’t specifically state that their new Cognite software is designed to replace a librarian, but using my library kung fu I read between the lines.

Check out http://www.follettsoftware.com/cognite/what.cfm – that is the page with the graphic I referenced. Notice how teachers, students and parents are arrayed across the top arc with library resources underneath them. In the middle, where one might expect to find a librarian, one instead finds Cognite. Not Cognite being used by a librarian, not library resources being selected and maintained by a librarian, not materials use being explained by a librarian on Cognite….just Cognite.

Then consider some of the copy (the marketing text): “Cognite leverages your district’s investments in Destiny Library Manager, Destiny Quest®, WebPath Express™, and Standards by expanding their reach to home and classroom use.” Really? Cognite doesn’t leverage your district’s investment in a certified school librarian?

Or another statement: “Cognite puts your district’s digital resources at everyone’s fingertips, and enables teacher collaboration, giving them an easy way to exchange ideas and educational materials.” The software may facilitate teacher collaboration, but where is the school librarian with whom the teacher is supposed to be collaborating? Even though Cognite marketing is being directed towards administrators, Follett could still have included the school librarian as a critical element for the successful implementation of their software. As it stands, it feels more like they threw us under the bus in the hopes of securing more sales.

Finally, I turn not to what IS there, but rather what is NOT on the site. As a Google ninja, I know that I can do a site specific search. http://www.google.com/search?q=site:follettsoftware.com/cognite+librarian asks Google to search just the Follett Software site for Cognite for the term “librarian.” No matches. Well…okay. Maybe Follett Software hasn’t changed over in response to AASL’s adoption of the term school librarian instead of school library media specialist.

So let’s do another search: http://www.google.com/search?q=site:follettsoftware.com/cognite+media+specialist – 1 match found (click omitted to see it is the same page). One single use of “media specialist” and that is in the drop down list where you select your job title to get more information. Follett is willing to sell Cognite to media specialists, but fails to talk about how we are an integral part of the implementation, training, and use of this information seeking tool.

One Response to “Follett Cognite – Details”

  1. Gwyneth Jones Says:

    You ARE a Ninja! Yeah…this really disturbs me! What a*bout* the School Librarian? Did they leave us out of the Cognate equation? Sure seems like it! Or does Cognate replace us? Is it the Terminator all over again? Rise of the machines? Oh noooooo! “I’ll be back” to see what, if any, reply you get to this very disturbing and glaring omission. I make light, but seriously i’m very very unhappy.
    ~Gwyneth