• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Stop wasting time looking for files and revisions. Connect your Gmail, DriveDropbox, and Slack accounts and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio will automatically organize all your file attachments. Learn more and claim your free account.



Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 3 months ago

Research is Hard


Steven M. Cohen

Senior Librarian - Law Library Management, Incorporated









The Reference Interview...



...Is changing.

...Needs constant development.

...Does not involve the term "Google it"

...Makes the user smarter.

...Doesn't end when the person walks out the door.


Keeping up



“To stay ahead, you must have your next idea waiting in the wings." - Rosabeth Moss Cantor

“Keeping a little ahead of conditions is one of the secrets of business.” - Charles Schwab

“It’s better to be ahead of the curve than to be behind it.” - Me


+ Use RSS to Keep Up


  1. Google Reader - http://reader.google.com
  2. News Searches are key - http://news.yahoo.com
  3. EBSCO (http://support.ebsco.com/support_news/detail.php?id=204&t=h), Library Catalogs


+ Stay Current with the Search Engines


  1. Yahoo Search Blog - http://www.ysearchblog.com/
  2. Ask.com Blog - http://blog.ask.com/
  3. Google Blog - http://googleblog.blogspot.com/


+ Be aware of the hottest new toys/technologies


  1. You don't HAVE to do these things
  2. Do stuff because you want to.



+ Let's look at other search engines


  1. Exalead - http://www.exalead.com - Proximity Operators!!
  2. Ask.com - http://www.ask.com/web?o=0&qsrc=19&l=dir&q=rosie+o%27donnell - Ready Reference!!!
  3. Yahoo - http://search.yahoo.com/web/advanced?ei=UTF-8&fr=yfp-t-501


+ News


  1. Yahoo News - http://news.yahoo.com
  2. Topix - http://www.topix.net
  3. Google News - http://news.google.com


+ SE Resources


  1. Search Engine Land - http://www.searchengineland.com
  2. Resourceshelf - http://www.resourceshelf.com
  3. Researchbuzz - http://www.researchbuzz.org
  4. LII - http://www.lii.org



1) Make online searching MANDATORY in library school. Make it a core course.


2) Keep up with search engine news and how to use these tools to their maximum capabilities.


3) Put a glass jar on your desk. Every time you say, "Google it",


4) Reference desk managers: Do the jar thing too,


5) Do not make Google the default page at your reference workstations. If you are going to do this, at least use the advanced page.


6) Understand the invisible web and how it exists. Know about subject-specific engines and directories. Know the best person, home, and e-mail look-up tools.


7) Use your reference book collection. Not all answers are found in the glorified results of a word or phrase search on ANY engine.


8) Don't enable. Not only should we teach better searching skills to our colleagues and users, we should practice what we preach. Don't have a Google search box on your library web page or blog. Don't have canned Google searches on your web page or blog that lead to atrocious results.


9) Don't forget the importance of using the fee-based databases that your library (check that, your patrons) pays for. Remember that "free is as free does."

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.