Sunday, September 21, 2003

Unravelling research and database mysteries

Yesterday I took a 2 hour free workshop, "Research @ Your Library". It was certainly worth getting myself going on a Saturday morning. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of both the instruction and the facilities. These two librarians, Ross and Louise, did more than show the how to's... they did a wonderful job of explaining the "why" behind things. As a result, I finally undertstand the Boolean thing for the first time, and understand how a "dumb" database is responding to my requests. Light bulbs were going off! I am also in awe about the databases that are available to me, free, and on the web, with just my library card number as my price of entry. I knew they were there, but I had NO idea how much I could access. And, of course, now I know how to talk to each database in a way that it will respond with useful information.

I think everyone who wants to be able to find stuff online should take a course like I did. Although I do pretty good at finding stuff online - I have had others tell me that they think I can find anything (nice compliment), but now I feel I have double the power. Really.

An interesting outcome is that I used my quest for how blogs are being used for learning in organizations, and found all sorts of great stuff. Will cycle by here again soon to post some links.

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