Thursday, April 19, 2007


Little tasty internet search rolls!

As an information scientist (imagine me in a white jacket), I really like the idea of creating specialized search tools. In the past librarians or specialists would create a page of links, and the patron would then need to try each link seperately to discover which one best served their needs. With a specialized search engine a patron can simply type in what they are looking for and search the all suggested web sites at once. Sort of like WebFeat for the internet. I like it, I like it!

In looking at Rollyo's list of specialized search engines, I'm really impressed to see that a String Theory searchroll is among the most popular! I only wish it was a little more transparent as to exactly what websites have been added to each specific searchroll. I see know that there is a link at the bottom of the searchroll which shows which web sites are being searched.

Google also offers the same service. I notice that Google's featured custom search engines seem to be more academic and/or professional than the ones featured on Rollyo.

I decided to create a searchroll through Google for free sheet music.

Google Custom Search

Try the search box above, or follow the free sheet music link.

As we head towards the end of our Learning 2.0 experience I looked at several articles on Web 2.0 and libraries. I reluctantly agree with Rick Anderson that we need to abandon our tight grasp on our print collections. I originally wanted to keep all these reference books "just in case" the power went out or the internet went down. But you know -- that rarely happens. And when it does, patrons understand that the info is not reachable, and even so we are able to use our own little brains and find them what they need. I heartily agree with Michael Stephens' caution to embrace Web 2.0 but avoid technolust: "Without a firm foundation in the mission and goals of the institution, new technologies are not implemented for the sake of coolness and status." I believe in John Riemer's statement that libraries should adopt collaborative web technologies to allow users to tag and comment in the library catalog.

One last observation: why were 4 out of 5 authors of these articles men? The library field is largely filled with women. Is it that the technology appeals more to men? Do men still rise to positions of CEO and "head" because they're more interested than women? I don't know, I just wonder. I thought it was odd.

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