Monday, November 20, 2006

Top Ten Research Tools

This list from CNet came out a month ago but I missed it until today. An interesting list that has only one "traditional" type resource on it which would be an official part of a library's collection: The 2007 Encyclopedia Britannica. Not one of the others is and so, supports the data in our Perceptions report that very very few people begin research in libraries, with library-supplied resources. The academic librarians among you (at least) will wince at this sentence, "These digital tools can keep you on track--whether you're working on a middle-school science fair, wrapping up a graduate degree, or pursuing a hobby."

Aside from the Britannica the other resources are:

Rather than cursing outrageous fortune and trying to beat these tools, we all should be coming up with ways to move our resources (people and content) into these tools as fast as possible--no, faster.


Anonymous said...

I'd also be interested to know how the CNET survey (or whatever they did to come up with this list) defines research. If, for instance, finding out what 66 degrees Fahrenheit is in Celsius constitutes research, or wondering who starred in Raiders of the Lost Ark, or what have you, most of us with internet access would probably go there before going to the library. I don't really have a problem with that. Nor, for that matter, do I think it's inappropriate to begin more in depth research with the tools that are closest to hand--which, until we develop live-in libraries, will probably mostly be the internet.

The library isn't always the best place to turn for every information need any given person is ever going to have. As with so many other things, it depends.

Anonymous said...

I find that for in depth research it's usually better to go to a library. Although it's true that there's all kinds of information on the net, it's scattered all over the place, unlike books which go deep into particular topics. However, many still choose to do research online. Too convenient I guess.

Anonymous said...

Coincidentally, a friend of mine who had just gone back to school part-time was asking my help earlier on a research project. I suggested that she buy/borrow at least 1-2 books, and pull the rest of the internet. She only needed to pause for a second before answering, "why would I want to go to the library when I could look things up on my computer?"