Improve Your Online Searching Skills

Finding information is a fundamental librarian skill.  Whether you are searching with library discovery tools, in online research databases, or on the Internet at large using a search engine, great searching skills are a necessity.

Here is a selection of the best up-to-date books to improve your online searching skills.

The Complete Guide to Using Google in Libraries: Research, User Applications, and Networking edited by Carol Smallwood

The Complete Guide to Using Google in Libraries: Research, User Applications, and Networking edited by Carol SmallwoodThe book is divided into four parts: Research, User Applications, Networking, and Searching. Part IV on searching includes advanced search strategies, underutilized Google search tools, and evaluating the sources of search results. Other parts cover using Google services such as Google Books, Drive, Google+, Google Scholar, and Google Translate among others.

View details and find a place to buy or borrow at Google Books.

Google Search Secrets by Christa Burns and Michael P. Sauers

Google Search Secrets by Christa Burns and Michael P. SauersAs the title suggests, this book covers the search engine Google.  It goes beyond the basic search function to give practical tips and tricks on Google’s “hidden” features.  The authors devote chapters to cover specific Google search services including Blogs, Books, Discussions, Images, Maps, News, Patents, and Videos.  The chapter on Google Scholar is particularly relevant for academic librarians. The authors created a companion blog for posting updates so have a look even if you don’t buy the book.

View details and find a place to buy or borrow at Google Books.

Librarian’s Guide to Online Searching: Cultivating Database Skills for Research and Instruction (Fourth Edition) by Suzanne S. Bell

Librarian's Guide to Online Searching: Cultivating Database Skills for Research and Instruction (Fourth Edition) by Suzanne S. BellNow in its fourth edition, this popular book for librarians has been updated for 2015.  The book looks into what a database is, parts of a database, and tools for searching such as Boolean logic and truncation.  Later chapters discuss the different databases by subject matter.  Evaluating databases is covered. Finally, the book lists eight principles of teaching databases.

View details and find a place to buy or borrow at Google Books.

Online Searching: A Guide to Finding Quality Information Efficiently and Effectively by Karen Markey

Online Searching: A Guide to Finding Quality Information Efficiently and Effectively by Karen MarkeyThis new book covers searching online using discovery tools and research databases.  It starts with the research interview and traces the steps through assessing search results.  Pre-search preparation and database selection are covered before detailing specific search types: controlled-vocabulary, free-text, and known-item.  The author ends with a look into the future of online searching.

View details and find a place to buy or borrow at Google Books.

Semantic Web Technologies and Social Searching for Librarians by Robin M. Fay and Michael P. Sauers

Semantic Web Technologies and Social Searching for Librarians by Robin M. Fay and Michael P. SauersThe final volume of The Tech Set from ALA, this guide goes beyond basic Internet searching.  As indicated in the title, the semantic Web and finding hidden data is its main focus.  Specific types of searching include location-based, multimedia, social, and semantic.  Specific search examples from Google and Bing are shown.  The book has a companion website with author information and links, downloadable files, related slide presentations, and an audio interview with the authors.

View details and find a place to buy or borrow at Google Books.

Creating the 21st-Century Academic Library Book Series

Leading the 21st-Century Academic Library: Successful Strategies for Envisioning and Realizing Preferred Futures Enhancing Teaching and Learning in the 21st-Century Academic Library: Successful Innovations That Make a Difference Cutting-Edge Research in Developing the Library of the Future: New Paths for Building Future Services

A new professional book series for academic librarians has been published.  The volumes were edited by Bradford Lee Eden and contain the knowledge and experience of academic librarian contributors.  [Disclosure: I co-wrote a chapter but receive no royalties from the sale.]

The Creating the 21st-Century Academic Library series contains five titles so far:

  1. Leading the 21st-Century Academic Library: Successful Strategies for Envisioning and Realizing Preferred Futures
  2. Enhancing Teaching and Learning in the 21st-Century Academic Library: Successful Innovations That Make a Difference
  3. Cutting-Edge Research in Developing the Library of the Future: New Paths for Building Future Services
  4. Creating Research Infrastructures in the 21st-Century Academic Library: Conceiving, Funding, and Building New Facilities and Staff
  5. Partnerships and New Roles in the 21st-Century Academic Library: Collaborating, Embedding, and Cross-Training for the Future

The titles are available as ebooks and print books.

Creating Research Infrastructures in the 21st-Century Academic Library: Conceiving, Funding, and Building New Facilities and Staff Partnerships and New Roles in the 21st-Century Academic Library: Collaborating, Embedding, and Cross-Training for the Future