Monday, April 26, 2010

Search Competency 1: Library Literature Database

Naive Question: How is the economic downturn affecting public libraries nationwide?

For this search the first thing I did was decide which database to use. Since the naive question I am trying to answer involves libraries I chose the Library Literature Database. The Library Literature Database consists of articles and information that was created with libraries and librarians in mind, and that pertains to library trends.

The main search strategy I am going to use for this question is the Successive Fraction Strategy since my key facets are general and don't have that many similar synonyms.

ss1: (econom*) and (librar*) and (nation*) subject search
Results: 21

A lot of the results retrieved pertain to different nations, especially areas that have well known socio-economic issues, such as Africa.

ss2: (socio-econ* or econom* or recession) and (librar*) and (United State* or America) subject search
Results: 11

The following article came up which pertains to government aid and libraries during Roosevelt's economic crisis of 1933-1943:

Swain, M. (1995). A New Deal in libraries: federal relief work and library service, 1933-1943. Libraries & Culture, 30, 265-83. Retrieved April 26, 2010, from Library Lit & Inf Full Text database.

Though reflections of the past provide insight in to the future, my initial inquiry has still not been answered. I am going to have to change my search query so that it is Y2K specific.

ss3: (recession or econom*) and (public librar*) and (20*) subject search
results: 199

The majority of the articles seem very pertinent to my search query!
The following articles answer my question specifically:

LaRue, J. (2010). Tough Times and Eight Ways to Deal with Them. American Libraries, 41(1/2), 16-17. Retrieved April 26, 2010, from Library Lit & Inf Full Text database.

Martell, C. (2009). Hanging Tough at Our Neighborhood Libraries. Public Library Quarterly, 28(4), 336-43. Retrieved April 26, 2010, from Library Lit & Inf Full Text database.

With this search I am glad that I chose the successive fraction searching method. Once I learned the language of the database it became easier to manipulate and my relevant search responses went from non existent to abundant! If I would have relied on another search method, such as the building block method or pearl growing, this search would not have been nearly as fruitful as it ended up being.

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