Although I am a “younger” librarian, I do remember learning the tools for researching and writing a paper in high school. In fact, we had to write and research a topic in order to graduate high school. As students we had to compile sources by searching through the card catalog, and then we had to locate the physical books in the stacks. It was by doing this that we learned how to use indexes, how to create a ‘Works Cited’ page, how to sift through information on an assigned topic, and how to use the card catalogs. We did not have to worry about the quality of the research on our desired topics.
Posts Tagged ‘Internet Searching’
Research is a method of collecting qualitative and quantitative data, verifying it, and determining conclusions, while searching is somewhat an art form, learning about search engines and taxonomies, and being able to use them successfully to find data and answers. This piece is about finding resources to help you use the Internet more effectively and efficiently.
Whether rebranding, re-organizing, or answering the public’s questions, we have to talk about semantics. If we are asking a question, the way we ask can disrupt the course of inquiry…if we ask the wrong question.
Google recently changed its algorithm to give preference to mobile-friendly sites, dubbed “Mobilegeddon” by the technology press. Even if your website isn’t optimized for mobile yet, your library can still weather this update.
As librarians, Google can be our friend. That’s funny, because a lot of people think that Google renders librarians obsolete. But I, and many other library professionals, use Google regularly. Don’t get me wrong; I love online databases as much as the next librarian. For example, when I’m teaching a class on business resources for job seekers, I introduce them to our amazing library databases that will give them the current, verified, and valuable information that they need. In fact, a common response from the participants is, “Wow, you can’t find that by doing a Google search!” It definitely makes my librarian heart sing. But then there are other times, like when a patron wants to find that sentence from that article from that magazine that was published sometime in the last decade, when Google has the potential to be a really big help.
Want a new way to search the web? WolframAlpha.com is a perfect place to go to find calculated answers from a variety of data. In fact, they state that it’s not a search engine, but a “computational knowledge engine” that helps people find what they need (WolframAlpha, 2013). It uses “built-in knowledge curated by human experts to compute on the fly a specific answer and analysis for every query” and the results are really interesting (WolframAlpha, 2013). That is what makes WolframAlpha different from Google, which indexes and displays web pages.