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Open Library gets even more open

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Created in 2006 by a team led by Aaron Swartz and Brewster Kahle, Open Library is an Internet Archive project developed to present one web page for every book ever published.  This wiki approach to a catalog encourages new information as well as corrections from the user community. Recent enhancements allow for even more openness. […]

On practicing safe search: fine tuning, privacy-friendly searches, and learning more

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As librarians, we need to be concerned about privacy. ALA’s Policy Statement on Privacy reminds us Libraries, librarians, and library workers have an ethical obligation, expressed in the ALA Code of Ethics, to preserve users’ right to privacy and prevent any unauthorized use or disclosure of users’ personally identifiable information or the data associated with their […]

SweetSearch: an update and three tools for your kids’ utility belts

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I’ve been a longtime fan of findingDulcinea, a carefully curated portal for educators that I reviewed years ago. SweetSearch, its searchier sister site, is an excellent example of the power of a Google custom search engine to create a noise-free, focused search for children. Launched in 2009, SweetSearch leverages a Google CSE to search the websites included in findingDulcinea’s pathfinders […]

Google’s new Talk to Books: Semantic search for book and idea discovery

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I am truly excited about sharing this new approach to search!  Imagine if you had the power to ask authors across time and disciplines your most burning questions or for their best advice.  Now you can. This week TED curator Chris Anderson and futurist Ray Kurzweil introduced Talk to Books. The feature was developed by a Google Research team […]

Google: On knowing where to start

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We all search Google. But I am not sure if we’re always sure of the most effective place to begin our Google searches.  The basic and familiar search box may not be the only one and it may not be the smartest place to begin. Among the Google options are Books, Images, News, Newspapers and […]

On search agility: There’s more than one place to start

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I don’t think I know anyone who isn’t in a search rut. We usually begin our search in one of two search giants. But while they may not have achieved verb status, we have other choices well worth discovering. And it’s kinda in our ballpark to ensure that appropriate choices are easily available on both […]

Listennotes.com: a search engine for podcasts

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Listen up, there’s a new search tool in town. Among my friends, at least, it seems that podcasts are a rediscovered treasure. (Check out Jayson DeMers’ Forbes piece, Why Podcasts are Popular, and the 2017 Edison Research Infinite Dial Study on  podcast statistics.) The demand is growing, but how do you find podcasts without the effort of subscribing […]

Some secret strategies for serious searchers

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I designed and currently teach a course called Search and the Information Landscape.  What I love about the course is getting my graduate students to think about their search habits and recognize what works. I also introduce a few classic strategies that have been around in the literature about online searching since the pre-web days. What […]

A custom solution: Creating a Google Custom Search Engine

How do we keep our kids focused in their free Web searches while we ensure their discovery of the stuff we know is worthy of discovering?  A Google Custom Search Engine could be the answer. A Google Custom search (or CSE) allows you to guide searchers to the sites you want them to search or […]