Volume 40, Number 5 - September/October 2016
We should not fear being considered experts. We should not be scared to fact-check.
By Marydee Ojala
According to bq, the answer to this question is people: both those who design and program them (often, if truth be told, inadequately) and those who use them every day, sometimes to the point of no return.
By Barbara Quint
Search Engine Update
By Greg R. Notess
Library Associations on Parade
Be Safe, Not Sorry: Data Destruction Software for Librarians
There comes a time in every librarian's life when a computer is designated for disposal. But before you give or throw it away, make certain that the information has been permanently removed from the hard drive. Simply deleting data is insufficient, as Avery Le explains. She then suggests three software packages that will keep you safe, not sorry.
By Avery Le
Searching in the Materials World
Materials research is not as arcane as you may think since everything is made of materials, from nanoelectronics, biomedical objects, and satellites to more mundane, everyday items. However, materials questions do tend to be complex, which makes a good reference interview imperative. Librarian James Schroeder shares his expertise on materials research.
By James Schroeder
Commanding CODiEs: The 2016 Awards
Each year the SIIA hosts the CODiE Awards to recognize innovation, vision, and industry impact. Barbie Keiser reviews several products in the Business Technology and Education Technology categories that particularly struck her as valuable to information professionals.
By Barbie E. Keiser
Crowdsourcing, which has been around for a decade, marked the beginning of online group participation united to complete a task. As Nancy Herther reports, crowdfunding, an offshoot of crowdsouring, is starting to become the donation option of choice for educational institutions, charitable foundations, and other nonprofit organizations. Herther looks at some of the most popular platforms being used by these organizations as an alternative way to raise funds.
By Nancy K. Herther
Delivering Data: The U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey
Big Data is grabbing headlines, but first you have to deliver the data—the sooner, the better. One entity dedicated to collecting and dissemination information is the U.S. Census Bureau. The American Community Survey (ACS) is one of about 130 data programs it manages. Roger Magnus explains the intricacies of searching census data and evaluating statistical results.
By Roger Magnus
Can you trust the citation counts you see? This isn't just an academic exercise. Knowing actual citation counts matters for librarians and information professionals working in finance or litigation, in which the number of cited references can either support or undermine the credibility of a theory or argument. It can make or break a deal or determine the outcome of a case.
By Amy Affelt, David Pauwels
Our fearless columnist, realizing that her 2004 Prius is reaching the end of its days, is going hands-free with her next car, the Tesla Model 3. In honor of this momentous event, she takes a look at the history and rebirth of the electric car, focusing on the latest iterations.
By Irene E. McDermott
On the Net
Information professionals dread not finding anything. Zero results, a null set, is not the desired end result for most of us. However, Greg Notess warns against forgetting that, for some searches, an empty result set is exactly what the user wants. No results can lead to a more refined question.
By Greg R. Notess
The Dollar Sign
Researching Craft Beer
Establishing a craft beer company is a favorite exercise for students in entrepreneurship classes, but many other aspects of the industry deserve research attention. Drink up as Marydee Ojala explores the various sources and approaches for researching craft beer.
By Marydee Ojala
The Open Road
WordPress: The Most Popular (Open) Web Content Management System
Having previously concentrated on one definition of "open"—materials such as scholarly publications, data, and educational resources that are both free to access and free to re-use—Abby Clobridge turns her attention to WordPress as an open content management system.
By Abby Clobridge
How Young Freshmen See Reference Sources
If 18-year old freshmen are happy with Google or Wikipedia, expect instant answers, and consider library databases as anachronisms, we need to convince them that academic databases are worth taking the time to learn. If quality and relevance are the search goals, a lack of understanding of the information world is going to create bad results, no matter how simple the search.
By William Badke
Hidden Dangers Threatening Your Library Website
Even when your website is a thing of beauty, columnists Darlene Fichter and Jeff Wisniewski strongly advise that you carve out some time to take action to forestall criminal activity, enhance performance through image optimization, eliminate zombie pages, and document everything.
By Darlene Fichter, Jeff Wisniewski
Recommended Reading on Content Marketing, Discovery Tools, New Librarianship, and Digital Collections
By Deborah Lynne Wiley
Embracing the Filter Bubble
Veteran searcher Mary Ellen Bates is getting worried. Google is getting better and better at interpreting queries and returning relevant answers. In response information professionals must create better "filter bubbles" for our clients than Google does.
By Mary Ellen Bates