A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

Posts Tagged ‘research’

men working at computers in libraries

The Importance of Understanding and Evaluating Research

As librarians we are not only on the front line of information sharing, we are also its guardians. I believe we need to hold creators accountable. If you don’t know or understand research methods – learn them! If a source or organization will not provide or support the process, don’t support it. We need to start treating data with respect or all information will soon become meaningless.

Journalists and Librarians: A Common Goal

Sharing journalism resources is just one of the ways to foster relationships with local media.

person typing info from a card into a laptop

The Pirate Library Controversy

Until recently the term “pirate library” was fairly unknown. As the popularity of these websites has grown, however, primarily among academic researchers, and a major publisher has taken legal action, pirate libraries are a growing force in the information ecosystem. The pirate libraries I’m exploring are not libraries with collections about pirates. Instead, pirate libraries are offer a collection of content provided freely to users regardless of, and usually in violation of, copyright restrictions.

girl using large reference book

Teach Effective Research Skills Early

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.

Google with magnifying glass

Search vs. Research

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.

wikipedia logo

(Still) Justifying Wikipedia

English Wikipedia has grown to five million pages, and isn’t stopping. Here’s a great way to use it as legitimate reference.


Don’t Forget Research Rules

Before I started working in libraries, I taught research methods (and statistics) for over a decade to undergraduate and graduate students. I conducted my own research in the field of social science, presenting it at conferences and in publications. I currently assist two different library publications in their peer review process. I actually like research and statistics. Over the last few years, I’ve noticed an increase in focus on research in library circles. As it has become more necessary to focus on outcomes, progress, and effects–rather than simply usage—research projects have become a focal point. I think this is a worthwhile trend.