Google Book Search Rocks!

February 8, 2006

While doing research for my classes, I have been using Google Book Search quite a bit – and I’m loving it. Finding and tracking down citations can be challenging especially in an entirely online environment. I’m finding that doing research is a bit different as a distance education student. In a traditional classroom environment, I usually would start with books on a topic and expand my research using the bibliographic citations from the book. In my online classes, I do not have access to the book collection at SCSUs library. My local library does not have an extensive collection of library science material. This has made Google’s Books Search (and Amazon’s search inside the book to a lesser extent) an incredibly valuable tool.

First, I searched for keywords, a person’s name and several combinations of terms. Then, Google provided a listing of books in which the searched terms appear – along with the page the references appear on. In order to view pages, I had to log in to my Google account. Not all pages are viewable. However, within minutes, there was a list of books which might have been pertinent to my research. I was able to get a list of about 35 titles. From there, I was able to get a sense of which ones would be most relevant by searching the text within each title. Even better, I was able to use the table of contents and indexes from listed titles in order to get chapter and article citations. With this information, I then placed interlibrary loan orders for the most relevent texts and articles. The best part was that I was quickly able to tell which books had no relevance to my topic.

While I certainly understand why Google’s Book Search is controversial, it has revolutionized how I am doing my research. From the perspective of a distance education student, I can only hope that Google is able to rapidly expand its scope. My first thought after using this book search feature was “I wish there was more information!!!” I anticipate using Google Book Search frequently in the future.

R.S. Taylor – Planning a College Library for the Seventies

February 6, 2006

Taylor, R.S. (Fall 1969). Planning a College Library for the Seventies. Educational Record, 50(4), 426-431.

Taylor suggests that there were three projected steps one should take when planning a library for the seventies. First, planners need to reevaluate library space incorporating such services as “the book library, audiovisual systems, copyring services, bokstore, and computer center” (p.431). Taylor argues that such planning will help to offer the user broader information choices. Second, the library and librarians need to be closer to the educational process. The third step in this planning process is to allow the library to become a place to foster experimentation – for the space and for the staff. Taylor thinks that planners should rethink the library as a space placing emphasis on the users and their information needs.

An interesting article, not much to add to my biographical research. The blurb on Taylor: “Robert S. Taylor is director of the library at Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts. This article, written under a U.S. Office of Education grant, was adapted from a presentation to the Danforth Foundation Workship on Liberal Arts Education, 24 June 1968, in Colorado Springs.

ILS504 – Exercise 1 – Get an Article from Buley Library

February 6, 2006

Our first exercise in ILS504 Reference and Information Services and Sources was to access an article from one of Buley Library’s online databases:

Unit 1 – Brief Report on Article

Fortunately, I set up my ID and PIN to access the online resources available through Buley Library last semester. With this information in hand, I went to Buley Library’s home page in order to complete our assignment to search and print out an article from one of Buley’s online databases. From the library’s home page, I clicked on the “Research Guides” link and followed the link to the library science subject guide. I attempted to use the Library Literature database. I authenticated myself via the library’s proxy server. However, the Library Literature link took me to an Ovid Gateway screen where I received a “database wlib does not exist” error message. Undeterred, but mildly frustrated, I returned to the library home page and followed the “Online Databases” link. I chose the Library Science link from the subject drop down menu. The Emerald Full Text database was listed first one the page. I clicked on the link. At Emerald’s home page, I decided to browse by subject and clicked on the “Library Management and Information Services” subject listing. I browsed through the list of available titles in this subject area and settled upon Reference Services Review. I browsed through several years worth of issues and choose an article entitled “Who Says We’re Not Busy? Library Web Page Usage as a Measure of Public Service Activity,” because of my personal interest in web page statistics.

Citation:Welch, Jeanie M. (2005), Who Says We’re Not Busy? Library Web Page Usage as a Measure of Public Service Activity. Reference Services Review. 33 (4), 371(8).

ILS503 Final Project

February 6, 2006

For ILS503 Foundations of Libraryship, we must complete a final project in which we must design and implement an information service. The professor encourages us to create this service for a real organization. I will be working with another woman in my class to develop an English as a Foreign Language pathfinder for a public library that serves groups from Eastern Europe and Brazil.

Our proposal to the professor (written by my partner):

Basic concept: We aim to create a pathfinder for non-native Englishspeakers and new immigrants.

Summary: This will include suggested materials such as books and audio-visual materials. We also will include various internet-based reference materials such as web page translators and other translation pages that have been researched and deemed useful. We will add suggested materials for libraries to own to better service to the non-native speaking population. In addition there will be resources for new immigrants such as government offices and web sites as well as localized information (i.e. local international groups if possible). A shorter version of the pathfinder will be presented as a pamphlet for take-home usage and distributed at the particular library we have chosen.

Background of concept: Living in a predominantly English-speaking area, I have noticed that through the last couple of years of working at my Library, we have had numerous requests for language-learning materials, mostly from nannies, but also from newly-immigrated people. In searching for reference materials for them, the most common language tools were in Spanish. These were not useful to our patrons as they primarily came from Eastern Europe and Brasil and were not familiar with Spanish. Aside from the lack of materials for non-native/non-Spanish speakers, the patrons were also asking for local resources—things to do, places to meet up with like-minded people, etc. This made me think that there is a definite need for resources for this population which is often overlooked in the non-urban library. In working together, Jennifer and I will create a pathfinder of information resources for not only language learning, but also information for newly-minted citizens or people preparing for their citizenship tests. We will then actually implement it in my library as it something that my director has agreed we have a need for. This part of the project could easily be utilized in any library, just specialized for the chosen area.

I am very excited about the project. Here’s hoping it all goes well!!!

More on Robert Taylor

February 1, 2006

From the Pioneers of Information Science in North America project:Robert Saxton Taylor’s page:

Dates: 1918 –Worked at: Lehigh University and Syracuse University

Other Info: Worked at Lehigh University as Librarian (1956-1967); Professor and Director of Information Science; Director of Library Science and Professor of Language and Communication at Hampshire College (1967-1972); worked at Professor (1972- ?) and Dean (1972-1981) of the School of Information Science at Syracuse University.

Published articles in user studies – used the value-added approach to information sciences. In 1963 wrote about the impact of behavioral sciences on information science.

Awards: 1972 Best Information Science Book – ASIS; 1956 Fulbright Lecturer.

Offices: ASIS Executive Officer (1959-1961); President (1968).

From Pioneers of Information Science of North America Scrapbook:

Significant moment of career in 1953 sitting at reference desk in Lehigh University Library. He started asking questions that would form the basis of his work over the next several decades. He had been educated as an historian – and worked as a newspaper reporter, sports editor, intelligence agent, free lance writer and a librarian.Profession and Education:

  • Directed Center for the Information Sciences at Lehigh (1962-1967)
  • With the program in Language and Communication at Hampshire College (1967-1972)
  • School of Information Studies at Syracuse University as Dean and Professor (1972-1983)
  • 1986 published work on value-added processes (NSF supported)
  • 1968 published work on question negotiation and information seeking in libraries
  • 1990 pubished work on information use environments (IUEs).

quote from page “It is people, both as individuals and as members of organizations for whom we design systems. This is a user-driven approach. Technology, important and overwhelming as it is at this moment, is but a means of gathering, storing, manipulating, and moving information to people who can make use of it. Our professional responsibility is to understand the technologies and to use them effectively to help people in whatever setting. Without people at the center we become but another technology-driving vocation.”