The Lede: Information Discovery, Overload, and How the Library Can Help
During the summer the library configured a new QuickSearch service –you can try below. This service combines results from most of the Library’s databases –so many results that a simple search (“music therapy”) results in over 589,000 results. How can anyone make sense of so many results?
Quicksearch allows its users to narrow their focus in many different ways: by type (full text, peer reviewed, or all library resources), date, source type (academic journals, books, news, and more), publication date ranges –and many more possible limits.
More than limiting results, QuickSearch also helps to connect users with human help –using articles from Credo Reference, Research Starters, and Library Research Guides. Users can ask librarians directly for help using the “Ask Us” Chat widget on the right side of the screen. Usually .pdf full text articles are only a click away –sometimes more, following the revamped “Full Text Finder” link.
What matters is how to steer through the overload –and this is where the library really stands ready to help. Seventeen new videos can be placed directly into your Blackboard course shells to help students from organizing their research (even at the last minute –Reserarch 911!) to printing in the library from their own laptops. For faculty, there is a guide to embedding library content in your course shells (see related article, A Service You Should Know About: Library Research Guides in Your Blackboard Course Shell).
These new services speed a library member’s discovery of relevant content –so much so that she or he will need help with sorting it all out. The problem of information overload has long been observed. The purpose of the library is not to present nearly ubiquitous information, but to sort it all out. “Discovery” has come really to mean “unraveling” –the thick skein of citations and word patterns so that useful and relevant knowledge can begin to emerge. The new QuickSearch service, and co-ordinated strategies and services, can help you and your students to get to the point quicker –to save time. “Save the time of the user” –Ranganthan’s fourth law of librarianship, now in a new context.
A Resource You Should Know About: TRIP Medical Database
TRIP (Turning Research into Practice) - is a clinical search engine designed to allow users to find and use high-quality research evidence to support their practice, or care, or both. In addition to research evidence, it also allows clinicians to search across other content types including images, videos, patient information leaflets, educational courses, and news. With its motto, “Find information fast,” it has become a premier source of evidence-based content with global reach. Every citation (as a link) indicates the level of evidence (from “blogs” to “systematic reviews”), and gives an “estimate of bias.” Search results can be sorted by quality of evidence, date, and relevance. Guidelines can be scoped geographically. The Library’s institutional membership enables TRIP to link to the Library’s full-text holdings, links to systematic reviews, and refining by clinical area. This database is especially relevant for physical therapists, nurse practitioners, and anyone else who needs to support practice with evidence.
A Resource You Should Know About: Artstor & Its New Platform
The Artstor Digital Library is an image database with the most comprehensive collection of images for educational and scholarly use. There are more than two million images from 280 collections. Subject areas include Anthropology, Art History, Fashion, Literature, Religion, Theater, History, and more!
In July, the Artstor organization released the new Artstor Digital Library, which offers users a cleaner design, smoother navigation and streamlined features. The new platform includes many improvements and additional features, including:
A Service You Should Know About: Library Research Guides in Your Blackboard Course Shell
Faculty who would like their students to use the library’s resources more often will find a new tool in Blackboard that makes it easier for students to do so. Through the Libguides Tool, library Research Guides and Database lists can be embedded directly in any Blackboard course shell. Considering the amount of time students spend on Blackboard, embedding library content into courses is a natural step towards providing them a less "silo-ed" experience of higher education.
The library already has a large selection of research guides from which to choose. Faculty can select to embed a full research guide, a specific page of a guide, or even a content box. Some research guides point directly to specific resources, while others take a more pedagogical approach and incorporate essential information literacy skills. If there are guides faculty members would like see created specifically for their courses or assignments, they should contact their liaison librarian or the Instructional Design Librarian, Ula Lechtenberg (email@example.com).
For more information about the process of embedding, a short video is available on the library’s new Vimeo account (below -- see also https://vimeo.com/sacredheartulib) as well as on the faculty page (http://library.sacredheart.edu/faculty). You can also find written instructions, linked from that page.