Duck Duck Book

6 – web search garage
12.12.2004, 12:04 am
Filed under: generalities

Web search garage / Tara Calishain.
Upper Saddle River, N.J. : Prentice Hall PTR, c2005.
[MCL call number: 025.04 C154w 2005; six copies, one hold]

As a librarian I spend a lot of time searching for things — in books, magazines, articles, indexes, reference works, government documents, computerized databases, in rooms, on shelves, and also on the internet. I am good at it, but one of the things that makes me good at it is that I am always trying to get better. This book is making me better.

Web Search Garage is written for the everyday researcher (that is, for you, me, your mom, and the person you sat next to on the bus this morning), and it is well organized, thoughtful, practical, and easy to use. If you are interested in becoming a better web searcher, in fact if you’re interested in searching the web at all for any thing or any purpose, I demand that you read this book!

Calishain begins with a discussion of what search engines are and how they work. What’s the difference between a full-text search engine and a subject index? Why would you use one and not the other, and how do you find them? Are there online tools that you can use to make searching full text and subject search engines easier?

The second section of the book is a series of chapters explaining Calishain’s ten principles of web searching — these are basically strategies that you might employ for different kinds of searches. This is incredibly helpful. Calishain explains some general theories of searching and then applies them to the context of looking for stuff on the web — read it and you will be better and finding things on the web and also in other places! The remaining sections discuss searching for particular kinds of things — news, jobs, local information, images, genealogy, medical information, and more.

The book has an index, and the table of contents is detailed enough to use as a kind of subject index as well.


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