Library Contributor

Researcher: access to Google by itself not enough for efficient Internet research

Dr Eszter Hargittai, a researcher at Northwestern University, says that her research indicates that access to Google is not enough for efficient, thorough Internet searching. Internet users need to know how to use search strategies effectively. “User studies suggest that the particular strategies people employ to look for content is a more important predictor of their ability to find material than what specific search engine they use.” BBC News (4/6/04) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/3601371.stm

New way to organize science?

“Scientists need new ways to monitor the progress of science in the digital age, according to reports in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.” Science is a very interconnected human activity, but data and knowledge has left the traditional print resources and has many dimensions. Scientists from Indiana University and elsewhere are recommending a new non-linear map be developed to reflect the current scientific landscape. Whitehouse, Scientists seek ‘map of science’, BBC News, 4/7/04 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3608385.stm)

Illinois Poet Laureate’s Website

Kevin Stein, Illinois’ new poet laureate, announced this week that the ILINOIS POET LAUREATE’S WEBSITE is now up and running at www.poetlaureate.il.us. The site will highlight one Illinois poet for a period of several months. Currently featured is Pulitzer Prize winner Lisel Mueller. Seven of Mueller’s poems are at the site in both text and audio, with Mueller reading her poems. The site also features prose in which Lisel describes coming to America to flee Nazi Germany, and her beginnings as a poet. Visitors to the site will also find:
–Video clips of three Illinois poets (Allison Joseph, Dave Etter, Laurence Lieberman) reading their work (with accompanying text)
— Video of Kevin Stein reading one of his poems, Stein’s commentary on the poem, and text of the poem
–Youth poetry selections
–Advice to young poets
–An explanation of the origin of the term “poet laureate” and a discussion of the laureate’s duties
–Links to other state and national poetry websites

Gale Celebrates National Library Week — Free Access to 24 Databases

Quoting from the Gale Web:
“Coming April 18!
Celebrate information with integrity – the resources in your library

Thomson Gale, known around the world for information integrity, honors the nation’s libraries by hosting a free-for-all – free, unlimited access to 24 diverse databases during National Library Week, April 18-24.

Some of the databases to which free access will be provided include: Gale Virtual Reference Library, InfoTrac Religion and Philosophy, Consulte (Spanish language), History Resource Center – Modern World, History Resource Center – U.S., Busines & Company Resource Center, and Legal Trac. Visit http://www.gale.com.

The Interstate Highway System

Got a topic-shopping COM student? S/he might consider the Interstate Highway System. The Summer 1996, Vol. 60, No. 1 issue of “Public Roads” magazine (available full-text through ProQuest) offers a history of the system, a contemporary evaluation, and articles on the poetry, art and movies inspired by the open road. Original source documents can be found in the Eisenhower Archives, and the Smithsonian offers a collection of images in the site’s America on the Move section, including one of a poster protesting a highway’s construction. Also, the USDOT Federal Highway Administration offers a list of links on highway history.

April Fools’ Redux

According to the “Folklore of American Holidays” (REF GT4803.F65 1991), the origin today’s holiday (AKA “All Fools’ Day”) “is uncertain, but it seems to have come about it France as a result of the change to the Gregorian calendar in 1582 when New Year’s was moved from March 25 to January 1. Thus, the first April fools may have been people who failed to make proper adjustment. In Mexico, where the borrowing of trivial items and the failure to return them is a feature, a similar day is celedrated on 28, and some countries like Germany and Norway have two such days on the first and last dates in April.” p 175.

Pew Internet and American Life Project

The Pew Internet & American Life Project will create and fund original, academic-quality research that explores the impact of the Internet on children, families, communities, the work place, schools, health care and civic/political life. The Project aims to be an authoritative source for timely information on the Internet’s growth and societal impact, through research that is scrupulously impartial. ” (from the Project’s mission statement) Includes reports/statistics on older Americans and the Internet, the CAN-SPAM Act, libraries and the digital divide, &etc.

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