What happens when you need to look it up?

I wrote this post for anyone who doesn’t know everything off the top of their head. You have to look things up from time to time, don’t you? Once upon a time, we all looked up addresses and phone numbers in a phone book. We probably all still have them. You can still use print to find a wide variety of information, but nowadays, you most likely look things up online more often. What happens between you typing your search query and the results appearing on the screen? … Continue reading

Search engines, online library catalogs: how they work

Most people begin to search for information using Google or other search engines. They turn to library catalogs later, if at all. When they get to the catalog, they have trouble using it if they expect it to work anything like Google. Some library and information technology professionals have drawn entirely wrong conclusions from that fact. One faction says it demonstrates that online library catalogs are obsolete, that the software system that runs them is old fashioned and difficult to program in, and therefore that we need to abandon the catalog. Another declares that people would use the catalog more … Continue reading