Saturday, November 19, 2011

Database Searching -- Information Literacy for Library Technicians

Finding "something quickly," in each case, proved to be seriously misleading to their overall comprehension of the subject.

In a very similar way, Google searching leaves remote scholars, outside the research library, in just the situation of the Blind Men of India: it hides the existence and the extent of relevant sources on most topics (by overlooking many relevant sources to begin with, and also by burying the good sources that it does find within massive and incomprehensible retrievals). It also does nothing to show the interconnections of the important parts (assuming that the important can be distinguished, to begin with, from the unimportant). six blind men and an elephant, by ben vershbow ideas from the famous Librarian, Thomas Mann: The Oxford Guide to Library Research. (see also) (Six blind men) is a parable that has crossed between many religious traditions and is part of Jain, Buddhist, Sufi and Hindu lore. Read more

See holy stages and See Also holy rules of Database Searching, in "Inside a searcher's mind: the seven stages of an online search," by Barbara Quint, Online 15.3 (May 1991): p13
Library and Information Science Search Engine (over 208 sites now have been included, including the latest Blogs and Open Access eJournals); Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts™ (LISTA) is available FREE to any library.

Database Searching in Library environ is not the same as Googling. It is not any ways close to a Google search and hence, not the same as Google results.

Database Searching requires some understanding of fundamental concepts (e.g, information seeking behavior or information needs), essential resources (e.g., primary, secondary), search techniques (what to search, where to search, how to search), etc. In short, it is going beyond Google (in order to find relevant, accurate, current, reliable, dependable, and verified content).


  • Computers in Libraries (2006), Chapter 8 (OPAC) pages:109-110, 116-110; Chapter 10 (Information Searching) pages: 137-143
  • Cases in Online Search Strategy by Bruce A. Shuman
  • Searching Skills Toolkit by Caroline De BrĂșn
  • The Information Specialist's Guide to Searching and Researching on the Internet and the World Wide Web, by Ernest C. Ackermann
  • Finding it Online (2004), 'Framing Your Search Strategy,' 73-77
  • Guide to Becoming Library Technician (2005) 'Developing Search Strategies' 158.
  • Librarian's Guide to Online Searching, Suzanne S. Bell
  • The Library Instruction Cookbook, Ryan L. Sittler - see chapter on "The Art of Database Searching by Dawn Eckenrode"
  • Reference and Information Services in the 21st Century: An Introduction,
    by Kay Ann Cassell & Uma Hiremath. Chapter on "Finding the Answer: Basic Search Techniques"
  • Search Patterns: Design for Discovery, by Peter Morville [Summary: This book explores design patterns that apply across the categories of web, e-commerce, enterprise, desktop, mobile, social, and realtime search and discovery. The authors cover topics such as relevance ranking, faceted navigation, multi-touch, and augmented reality together with a practical guide to help us make search better today--Derived from p. [4] of cover.
    Contents: Pattern recognition -- The anatomy of a search -- Behavior -- Design patterns -- Engines of discovery -- Tangible futures.]
  • Issues in Online Database Searching (Database Searching Series), by Carol Tenopir
  • The Elements of Library Research: What Every Student Needs to Know by Mary W. George
  • Understanding Information Retrieval Systems: Management, Types, and Standards, by Marcia J. Bates [see chapter on "Information Searching and Search Models by Iris Xie;" sections are on: MANAGEMENT OF INFORMATION RETRIEVAL SYSTEMS, TYPES OF INFORMATION RETRIEVAL SYSTEMS and STANDARDS FOR INFORMATION RETRIEVAL SYSTEMS]
  • Humor and Information Literacy: Practical Techniques for Library Instruction, by
    Joshua Vossler, Scott Sheidlower
  • Magic Search: Getting the Best Results from Your Catalog and Beyond by Rebecca S. Kornegay [showcases how to increase the power of Library of Congress Subject Heading (LCSH) subdivisions to produce astonishing results from your searches.]
  • The Medical Library Association Essential Guide to Becoming an Expert Searcher (Medical Library Association Guides), Terry Ann Jankowski
  • Research Strategies: Finding Your Way through the Information Fog, by William Badke
  • Online Retrieval: A Dialogue of Theory and Practice, by Geraldene Walker

    Techniques and Tools, How-To, What-to:
  • Compare Databases - Academic Database Assessment Tool (ADAT)  (includes: Bibliographic Databases and Fulltext Databases)
  • Planning a Search Strategy
  • Seneca's Guidelines on how to find an article
  • Research Success Tutorial
  • SELECTING & EVALUATING YOUR SOURCES , (includes: Recognizing a Scholarly Article) Dawson College
  • Basic and Advanced Operators (Boolean, Truncation, WildCard Chart)
  • Develop own information literacy skills
  • Information Literacy and the Contributions of Library Technicians in the Academic Library Dorothy Gagnon and Cyndi Smith, Reference Library Technicians, Georgian College.
  • Video Tutorial: Evaluating Websites

    From the same shelf (Blog):
  • Podcast of information literacy information from Curtin University of Technology Library and Information Service
  • Information Literacy (for all) - A useful gateway
  • Information Literacy Tutorial - Kognito
  • Finding a journal article is like hunting for a needle in a haystack
  • What the Information Professionals Read to Keep Up to Date, A list by Professor Karen M. Drabenstott, @ University of Michigan
  • Evaluating Selected Full-text Databases for Collection Development, by Karen Whisler, Marlene Slough, Nackil Sung and Barbara Cressman, Illinois Periodicals Online, 1998.