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ONLINE SEARCHER: Information Discovery, Technology, Strategies


Volume 44, Number 2 - March/April 2020


Page 4
I think the real issue with value propositions for information professionals is invisibility.
By Marydee Ojala
The Searcher's Viewpoint
Page 44
As job titles change and job functions evolve, what does this say about our loyalty to library associations?
By Julia B. Carberry


Page 5
Industry News
Page 8
Search Engine Update
By Greg R. Notess
Page 46
Conference Corral
Yo! ALA Midwinter Comes to Philly


Page 10
Down the Rabbit Hole 2.0: Designing an Iconic User Experie
Creating a new library for a new academic university, the Singapore University of Technology and Design, presented librarians Sabaratnam and Tang with exciting opportunities. They embraced design thinking techniques to create an inspiring space that has become an integral part of the university. They succeeded in reimagining the possibilities of library services, space, and technology.
By Sabaratnam S (Julie), Jessie Tang
Page 18
Opening Virtual Doors: Developing a Virtual Library Open House
When brick-and-mortar libraries wish to introduce students to the library, they hold an open house. A good idea, but it presents some difficulties when the students never visit a campus and are spread around the world. Walden University librarians Nykol Eystad and Susan Stekel experimented with virtual open houses and share what worked and what didn't.
By Nykol Eystad, Susan Stekel
Page 22
Dysfunction in Washington and Remedies for What Ails Congress
The state of affairs in the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C., particularly in its Congress, is dysfunctional due to a number of factors, many of them technological in nature. The lack of budgetary support and the presence of multiple information silos stems in part from entrenched bureaucracy. Barbie Keiser looks for bright spots that will modernize the system and lead to more efficiency and transparency.
By Barbie E. Keiser
Page 30
Free U.S. Salary and Income Data Resources: Uses and Comparisons
Salary information can be needed for a variety of reasons, not just idle curiosity. Researcher Roger Magnus discusses the terminology searchers can use to best interpret data and recommends looking closely at research methodology when interpreting salary data. He introduces a number of pertinent sources, many from the U.S. government.
By Roger Magnus
Page 38
Answering legal questions can be stressful, but county law librarian Ellen Schmid has suggestions and resources to help librarians cope, particularly those without a law degree or a huge budget. She highlights free and low-cost services available to non-lawyers as well as legal professionals and suggests starting with the basics.
By Ellen Schmid


InfoLit Land
Page 49
Working on Information Literacy Concepts
Teaching information literacy concepts requires getting the students to gain a fundamental understanding of how information works. William Badke considers topic complexity, search interfaces, subject headings, and evaluation criteria.
By William Badke
The Dollar Sign
Page 52
Breaking News, Breaking Bad
News alerting services are an essential tool in the business librarian's toolbox. However, lately the results from Google News have become extremely unreliable and much too often are drawn from sources information professionals do not consider to be authentic.
By Marydee Ojala
Technology and Power
Page 55
Human-in-the-Loop: Low-Wage Work in Automationís Last Mile
The phrase "human-in-the-loop" connotes human intervention in AI procedures. Trade-offs between autonomous AI systems, which have lower costs and greater efficiency, and those with human supervision to detect errors and problems must be considered.
By Bohyun Kim
Metrics Mashup
Page 58
Determining impact has moved beyond traditional citation counts to include alternative metrics, aka altmetrics. Elaine Lasda spells out which tools exist for determining altmetrics and shows how they have evolved across time.
By Elaine M. Lasda
Hard Copy
Page 61
Recommended Reading on Business Reference, Creative Commons, Systematic Searching, and Micro-History Research Techniques
By Jennifer A. Bartlett
Online Spotlight
Page 64
The Atomization of Information
Mary Ellen Bates speculates on the relationship of price and value and worries about algorithms that atomize information, thereby influencing search results.
By Mary Ellen Bates


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