Article in SLJ: Demystifying Popular Search Engines and Getting Quality Research

Debbie’s presentation at AASL 2011, “Power Searching: Demystifying Popular Search Engines and Getting Quality Research from Everyday Tools,” was a big hit. Read an overview about the session in School Library Journal:

…librarians packed into the workshop with their laptops in hand to hear Debbie Abilock, co-founder of Palo Alto, CA-based bibliography software company Noodle Tools, Natasha Bergson-Michelson, an instructional librarian at Google, and Jole Seroff, the director of library and information services at the Castilleja School in Palo Alto, give essential tips and answer questions about ways librarians—and their students—can refine their skills to get the most out of online searches.

What are the most popular search engines? Google, Bing, Blekko,DuckDuckGo, and Wolfram Alpha, but many of us—including librarians—lack the savvy to teach and use them to their full potential. But learning about a handful of commands can transform a strong searcher into a masterful one.

“Creative thinking makes good searching,” says Abilock, who told librarians to go back to the basics by thinking about how a successful reference interview is conducted. The fundamental questions that librarians ask patrons to help them define their informational needs also holds true for online searches, whether they’re fact-based ones, such as “What’s the population of Chicago?,” or inquiry-based questions, like “Why did the population there increase between a certain period of time?…”

Read more at…”AASL Conference 2011: Unlocking the Art of Search Engines

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