Are databases dead?

I’m going to be blunt in this post.  Databases are dead.  (Okay, maybe that is a bit dramatic.)  And who would mourn their loss?  What value do they add to our internet experience? Both Joyce Valenza and I (and I’m sure scores of other librarians) have probably written similar posts in the past asking database vendors to improve their wares. Now, don’t get me wrong.  I personally think databases are very helpful to students–obviously getting good sources of information that are accurate and current and […]

In “perpetual beta”

In her presentation at NECC on information fluency, Joyce Valenza  described how she sees herself as “version 1.8,” in perpetual beta, because she is always learning. What a great way to project to your students and staff that you are always in the process of “upgrading” and exploring new things. She pointed out that students often settle for a “good enough/why bother” point of view when it comes to searching and using information, and that both teachers and librarians need to “own” this problem, and ask more […]

Searching in visual style

When you are searching for sites that are helpful to use with students, it’s such a slow process, looking through each site to see if the graphics, design, layout, etc., are appealing for younger students.  During a workshop I was teaching today on Pageflakes (great visual tool for introducing RSS feeds–Thanks Will Richardson for sharing it), we ran across a very helpful tool I hadn’t seen before, Pagebull. Pagebull is a visual search site–it displays the results of your searches visually.  For example, I did a search on […]