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Information Brokers


Strange as it may seem, some of the earliest examples of online researchers are the keepers of a library established by Ptolemy I in Egypt in the third century B.C. These librarians helped to build the first great library by copying and revising classical Greek texts. The monks of Europe also performed some of the modern-day researcher's tasks by building libraries and printing books. Despite their great efforts, libraries weren't used extensively until the 18th century, when literacy increased among the general population. In 1803, the first public library in the United States opened in Salisbury, Connecticut, although other libraries also claim to be the first public library.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, many different kinds of library associations evolved, reflecting the number of special libraries already established (such as medical and law libraries). With all the developments of the 20th century, these library associations helped to promote special systems and tools for locating information. These systems eventually developed into the online databases and Internet search engines used today. The Internet, although created in 1969 and subsidized by the government as a communication system for the U.S. Department of Defense, didn't become a significant source of information until relaxed government policies allowed for its commercial use in 1991.

By the 21st century, the explosion of information and information gathering techniques available due to the Internet led to the term "Big Data" in the industry. Some professionals felt Big Data compromised their value, but the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP) notes that instead, information professionals have learned to harness Big Data and put it to use for their organizations. One example is gathering and mining company information and analyzing it to make recommendations for improving company efficiencies.

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