Friday, March 15, 2013

Laser Focus

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In my previous post, I gave a very brief summary of the earliest forms of online searching, which was carried out almost entirely in the highly-structured bibliographic databases available, in general, only to librarians and information professionals.

From our modern perspective, we might think that these databases are somewhat limited in scope and content: a database might cover a single industry (e.g., construction) or discipline (e.g., chemistry). The earliest versions contained only citations, or citations with abstracts; full texts of articles, which we now take for granted, were added only later.

But the limited scope, and in particular the highly-structured formatting and the indexing done by actual, real, human information professionals, enabled laser-focused searching and very reliable results.

Though the internet now offers v-a-s-t quantities of information, I still use the same structured databases, and I still rely on them for quick, focused, reliable results. Here’s why:

Thursday, March 14, 2013

How Times Have Changed

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Secondary research sure has changed in the twenty-five years or so that I’ve been a professional librarian engaged in reference work.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

So Much to Love

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In one of the online research communities of which I am a member, someone posed the question: “Do you love your work? If so, why?”

Oh, where to start?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

“Marketing Fraud”

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Like many other people, we get a lot of telemarketing calls at home. I don’t even answer those calls. Most of them show up on Caller ID with just a phone number (easily tracked online to aggressive telemarketers) or with cryptic Caller ID “names” such as “TOLL FREE CALL” or “CUSTOMER SERVICE.” I just ignore them. Nearly all of our friends or legitimate business callers show up properly on caller ID with their real names and/or numbers.

Today, though, we got a call from….

Monday, March 11, 2013

On My Desk

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For various reasons, technical, professional, and personal, this blog has languished…. Now, it’s time to get things going again.

Though I have a pretty good daily routine, I don’t do as much writing as I would like. Oh, I do a lot of writing – tens and hundreds of thousands of words. But much as I enjoy the writing I do for my clients (www.peregrineinfo.com), it’s not mine. Even preparing program notes for classical music ensembles (www.grace-notes.com), which borders on creative writing, calls for writing on deadline with specific parameters and requirements. (Trimming my expansive program essays down to 1500-2000 words is just…painful.)

Blogging removes most restrictions, and offers an easy platform for musing, expounding, exploring, and sharing.

And perhaps even for answering questions, especially about the research process and how I help clients to understand, use, and communicate important ideas and information.