Volume 40, Number 2 - March/April 2016
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Library association members are loathe to walk away from the "L" word.
By Marydee Ojala
As bq reminds readers—in part by sharing one shining moment from her own search history—when you help your client more precisely define what the question is, the more precise the results will be.
By Barbara Quint
Search Engine Update
By Greg R. Notess
Technology Transforms Libraries: ALA's Midwinter Conference
The Library of Congress, assisted by Search Technologies, Inc., redesigned Cataloger's Desktop to help librarians around the world create metadata to bibliographically control library resources. This custom search application required paying close attention to user needs and deploying ongoing, iterative changes.
By Bruce Johnson, Derek Rodriguez, Susanne Ross
Synthesizing, Extracting, and Customizing Web Data
Tools such as the free import.io facilitate customized data capture from websites and storage of information as formatted, easily transferable data files. Long time data librarian Ernest Perez walks us through the process. Data extraction services, using browser technology, offer opportunities to expand opportunities for information professionals.
By Ernest R. Perez
Survey Research: Polling and Beyond
The internet provides a fantastic platform for pollsters, whether they're in the political sphere or not. Barbie Keiser explores some online survey tools and examines those that provide survey results. She adds tips about understanding and constructing survey instruments.
By Barbie E. Keiser
New STN: Remaking a Classic While Keeping the Classic
STN has long been the gold standard for chemistry searches. Its newest iteration, called New STN, adds important new features while retaining the best of its classic version, writes experienced chemical searcher Bob Buntrock.
By Robert E. Buntrock
Technological Singularity and the Future of Information and Libraries
In writing about our quickly changing technological world, Nancy Herther uses the backdrop of astronomical and physics concepts such as singularity to theorize how these technologies could impact information professionals as well as humankind as a whole.
By Nancy K. Herther
Bob Berkman interviews Sharon Mader, visiting program officer for information literacy at ACRL, to find out the impetus behind the association's release of its Information Literacy Framework for Higher Education and what the Framework's biggest challenges are to date.
By Robert Berkman
Billions of people use social media. But for information professionals, it's the advanced search capabilities that attract their attention, Tracy Maleeff goes deep into the advanced search features of Twitter, detailing not only what they are, but also how best to use them.
By Tracy Z. Maleeff
Vendor Videos for Training and Sales
Increasingly, our vendors are using videos to sell their products and effectively train both information professionals and end users on how to use those products. Online Searcher
editor-in-chief Marydee Ojala describes the advantages and disadvantages of video and looks at individual vendors' video channels.
By Marydee Ojala
Irene McDermott shares this sobering statistic to kick off her column: As of November 2015, more than 800,000 Syrians had sought refugee status through the United Nations. She goes on to share a multitude of ways information pros can help these refugees begin their new lives. And it all starts with the public library.
By Irene E. McDermott
On the Net
Searching for Definitions
Online dictionaries and definition sources provide valuable alternatives to print dictionaries. It's not only web search engines and specific websites that help with definitions, it's also commercial databases.
By Greg R. Notess
The Dollar Sign
Branding Irons at the Ready: Researching Brand Names
Look around, and you're bound to notice at least one brand name, if not more. Researching brand names involves reference works, general business databases, intellectual property resources for trademark identification, and news stories.
By Marydee Ojala
The Open Road
Open Knowledge Versus Knowledge Management
What do open access, open knowledge, and knowledge management have in common? Quite a lot, says Abby Clobridge, who delves into the similarities and differences. Consider who is the intended consumer, security and privacy issues, metrics, and culture.
By Abby Clobridge
Evidence and the Doubter
Conspiracy theories, fake science, distorted views of events, and incorrect interpretation of facts are the province of the doubters, which creates real dilemmas for those teaching information literacy. Outliers may be proved correct or dead wrong. Bill Badke outlines five lessons for the information-literate when striving for credibility in research.
By William Badke
Do This, Not That: A Holistic View of the Library’s Web Presence
New developments in library website design include multiple site versions, artisan design when coding, and encouraging contributions of content that support responsive design. Educating staff about content creation for websites is integral to excellent user interfaces.
By Jeff Wisniewski, Darlene Fichter
Recommended Reading on Transformations, Opting Out, Expert Information, and Causal Relationships
By Deborah Lynne Wiley
Questioning and Streamlining Decisions
Decisions, decisions—we all have to make them. Mary Ellen Bates suggests a triage method for the reference interview and information delivery. She recommends taking advantage of the value-added features of resources, both commercial and on the free web.
By Mary Ellen Bates