“Google is now a clearinghouse for reference questions. Curious about the accuracy, cost and timeliness of the new service, I ask both Google and NYPL's Ask Librarians Online the same question, “What is the origin of the term 'shoestring' as it is used to refer to a small budget?”
Each site has a requirement; Google wants money, and NYPL wants your library card number. I told Google that I would pay up to four US dollars for an answer, and have not heard back. NYPL, happy enough to know that I had a card, answered in about 22 hours.
Check out the NYPL's detailed and authoritative answer, including the sources (a print title and a fee-based database). Not only that, the answer is already indexed in Google! As Drew Barrymore said in Charlie's Angels, “And that's kicking your @ss!” [The Shifted Librarian]