A. Canvas Discussion Area
Proficiency Project 1 began with an introduction. Here’s what I posted.
Provide a shortened URL for a page within the website you evaluated using one of the popular URL shorteners.
D. Inquiry Skills
Describe a formal research or inquiry process you’ve used in the past. Did it work well? Why or why not? Create an annotated list of the steps you think are important in conducting an information inquiry.
I generally apply the inquiry skills discussed in the class materials. I begin with a reference interview, referred to as “questioning” in the materials, helping the patron refine her question, and tailoring the search terms appropriately. We would then explore the relevant resources, evaluating for credibility and relevance to the topic. The process of assimilation comes next, as located information is pieced together with existing knowledge, prioritized and interpreted. This synthesis leads to inference, in answer to a question or in support or disagreement with a thesis. Reflection on the process provides insight and inspiration for refinement of subsequent inquiries.
Often, this process is not as successful as I would like. Patrons aren’t generally patient enough to tolerate such an involved process. Sometimes just trying to refine their question seems to communicate a lack of experience, understanding, or usefulness. If they wait out the process, they usually find it useful. But many times the patron is happier if I try to refine their question, let them go off to search on their own, but then return to them with results I’ve continued to search for after they’ve stepped away from the process.
Select a topic or question to explore related to library or information science to investigate for the rest of the (D. Inquiry Skills) items. Do a web search for your topic. List two websites related to your topic.
The first would be http://homelessadvice.com/index.html as discussed above. Another is http://ilovelibraries.org/article/who-are-homeless-people-my-library an article on a website affiliated with the ALA.
Compare and contrast the results you find using IUCAT at http://www.iucat.iu.edu/ with another OPAC found at WorldCat at http://www.worldcat.org/. Provide an example. Use at least one screen capture in your discussion.
I began searching IUCAT with a basic search of all fields for the search term “homelessness in libraries.” These results were not satisfactory, yielding results relating mainly to legislation pertaining to homelessness. I then clicked “advanced search,” and at first glance, I was not happy with the interface. There was no instruction given as to what delimiters were available. If I wanted to search for multiple subject terms at once, there was no instruction, again, at first glance, as to how or if this was possible. Then I noticed the link to search tips, which provided useful instruction. I then searched “homeless AND libraries,” (without the quotes,) and received the following results:
I found it a little disheartening that there were only four results, and that three of those were quite old. One, the most recent, was local, while one other wasn’t, at first, apparently, related to the topic. I didn’t feel that I could refine the query any further, as the terms used were pretty basic. IUCAT limits results to items in the library system’s collection, which is to be expected.
Searching WorldCat for “homelessness in libraries” resulted in similar results to those in IUCAT, in that they were about homelessness, and neglected libraries. Most titles included “in,” but often related to “homelessness in America.” Switching to advanced search, again, no instruction was given as to what sort of controlled language was available, if Boolean operators could be applied, etc. There was no helpful link, here, either. Again, I searched the subject field for “homeless AND libraries,” and received many more results, in many more formats, at many more locations, as WorldCat searches the collections of “more than 10,000 libraries, worldwide.”
Locate a MARC record in an OPAC. Include a screen capture of the record. Discuss at least five of the fields in a MARC record.
In the screen-capture below of the MARC record below, we see the following fields: the 010 tag denotes the Library of Congress Control Number, 2009045798, here. The 020 tag denotes the ISBN number. There are two entries for this tag on this record, 9780838910504 and 0838910505. The 100 tag denotes the personal name main entry, otherwise known as the author, and in this case Holt, Leslie Edmonds. The 245 tag denotes the title information and includes a “statement of responsibility” (again, the author) Public library services for the poor : bdoing all we can / c Leslie Edmonds Holt and Glen E. Holt, in this case. While the 250 tag denotes the edition, as there is no 250 tag on this record, one can assume there is only one edition of this title.
Find a subject heading related to your topic in the Library of Congress Subject Headings. In addition to the heading, provide BT, RT, and NT terms. Discuss the value of controlled vocabulary through your example.
The authorized subject heading for my topic is “libraries and the homeless.” A related term would be “libraries and the homeless–case studies.” A broader term would be simply “libraries.” There is no narrower term provided by LOC, but one might be “libraries and poor children,” though poor children may not necessarily be homeless. Perhaps it’s more of a related term. The use of controlled language can be helpful when the controlled language in use is known. For those searching on their own with no prior knowledge of the controlled vocabulary in use, it can make searching more difficult.
Provide the LOC and DCC classification number for a book that might be found on your topic.
LOC (full): Z679.6 .S28 1988
Conduct a search for your topic using a subscription database found at IUPUI at http://www.ulib.iupui.edu/resources/abc/A. Provide a complete citation for the database. Provide examples of how truncation, a proximity operator and Boolean logic could be used in your search with this particular database and your topic.
The given link was broken, so I did my best to find the appropriate resource. Using the LOC subject heading “libraries and the homeless” brought up plenty of relevant results. I don’t think using truncation, a proximity operator, or Boolean logic would improve the results. However, using truncation to search “librar*” rather than “libraries” would yield more results, returning both “library” and “libraries.” A proximity operator would also return more results, returning all results where “libraries” was within so many words of “homeless.” Libraries AND the homeless, however, returned the most relevant results.
Kelleher, A. (2013). Not just a place to sleep: Homeless perspectives on libraries in central michigan. Library Review, 62(1-2), 19-33. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00242531311328122
Compare and contrast your findings using an OPAC, a restricted-access database, and open web results. Discuss the reasons why each might be useful in particular situations. Provide at least three examples.
The results found in the OPAC would be most useful if a patron was looking for a physical book that was currently on the shelf. This, however, returned the fewest results. The restricted-access database returns the most credible, scholarly results, but requires access to a subscription service. These would be most useful for a general reference query. Open web results return the least credible results, and far more of them than are practical to use.
Use Citation Linker at http://www.ulib.iupui.edu/citation-linker to locate one of the key library journals. Search this journal for your topic. Describe what you found.
After using the citation linker to locate Library Journal, I searched for “libraries and the homeless.” I found, as I would expect to find, relevant scholarly articles about the subject.
Create a book, article, and website citation using two different citation styles (a total of 6 citations). Be sure to name or label the styles used. Use one of the online citation generators to create at least one of your citations.
Holt, L.E. Holt, G.E. (2010). Public library services for the poor: Doing all we can. Chicago: American Library Association.
Holt, Leslie. Public Library Services for the Poor. Chicago: American Library Association, 2010. Print.
Kelleher, A. (2013). Not just a place to sleep: Homeless perspectives on libraries in central Michigan. Library Review, 62(1-2), 19-33.
Kelleher, A. “Not Just a Place to Sleep: Homeless Perspectives on Libraries in Central Michigan.” Library Review. 62 (2013): 19-33. Print.
Website APA via Citation Machine
Extending Our Reach: Reducing Homelessness Through Library Engagement. (2012). Retrieved October 20, 2015, from http://www.ala.org/offices/extending-our-reach-reducing-homelessness-through-library-engagement
Website MLA via Citation Machine
In a few sentences, describe your experience using a resource discovery tool such as Sherloc at the Indianpolis Public Library.
I found Sherloc to be pretty cumbersome and unhelpful. Doing a basic search for “homelessness in libraries” brought up promotional press releases for old (2011) library exhibits that had been publicized on the libraries web page, mixed in with books and other materials. Even an advanced search didn’t intuitively allow for multiple search terms–filling in multiple terms in the subject field, for instance. Once the search was completed, then you could sort out the irrelevant results with a “refine” drop-down menu. This seemed like an extra, unnecessary step. Why couldn’t I select criteria to sort those out at the point that I made my original search? I didn’t care for it at all.