CO130: The Story of Luther


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This presentation was used as an initial introduction to searching the catalog and using boolean operators. (Please note, the functionality of our catalog changed, so some of the information presented is no longer valid, e.g. phrase searching.) This class was composed of students taking a lower level composition course, and the instructor reported positive remarks from the students after the presentation.

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CO130: The Story of Luther

  1. 1. The Story of Luther A real life lesson for finding books…
  2. 2. A real life research need. <ul><li>My sister needs information. </li></ul><ul><li>Her cat Luther has a problem. </li></ul><ul><li>A bit of a weight problem. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Luther goes on a diet. <ul><li>Before subjecting poor Luther to a trip to the Veterinarian’s office, my sister will try to find some information about putting Luther on a diet. </li></ul><ul><li>What better way to start than checking to see if there are any books on the topic? </li></ul><ul><li>That means an online trip to the Library’s Catalog, SAGE. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Getting to SAGE <ul><li>Go to the Library’s Home Page </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Click on the link to the Catalog (SAGE) </li></ul>
  5. 5. The SAGE menu…Now What? <ul><li>She has to decide how to search. </li></ul><ul><li>Since she has a topic in mind, instead of the title of a specific book, two choices arise. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Word Searching <ul><li>To begin, she tries the Word search option. </li></ul><ul><li>This type of search finds the words she is searching for in many parts of the library record. </li></ul><ul><li>The words she types in could be found in the Title of the book, the Table of Contents, the Subjects, or even the Author field. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Word Searching <ul><li>People tend to type in the first thing that comes to mind. Let’s try it. </li></ul><ul><li>If she types in fat cats it will search for those words as a phrase . </li></ul><ul><li>Notice: Sort by Date option </li></ul>
  8. 8. Word Searching <ul><li>So, typing in the phrase fat cats and sorting by date , gives the following hits: </li></ul>“ Click”
  9. 9. Word Searching <ul><li>Not a great search! Looks like only one of the hits is relevant: </li></ul>This book is a good start, but if more information is needed, these Subjects could be the key. “ Click”
  10. 10. Subject Searching <ul><li>Clicking on a Subject link makes SAGE perform a new search for any books about that specific subject. </li></ul>“ Click”
  11. 11. Subject Searching <ul><li>Now she has six books that cover this topic: </li></ul>
  12. 12. Word vs. Subject Searching <ul><li>Word Pros </li></ul><ul><li>More fields of the record are searched </li></ul><ul><li>Depending on how you phrase your search, sometimes yields more results </li></ul><ul><li>Search with any words you can think of about the topic </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to combine various terms using Boolean logic </li></ul><ul><li>Subject Pros </li></ul><ul><li>More precise search results </li></ul><ul><li>Uses controlled vocabulary </li></ul><ul><li>Subject Headings are linked at the bottom of most catalog records for very convenient searches for more items </li></ul>
  13. 13. Word vs. Subject Searching <ul><li>Word Cons </li></ul><ul><li>False hits common </li></ul><ul><li>Care must be taken to phrase word searches correctly </li></ul><ul><li>Spelling errors wreak havoc on searches </li></ul><ul><li>Subject Cons </li></ul><ul><li>Not always intuitive when searching </li></ul><ul><li>Controlled vocabulary makes the words you input very important </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes too narrow for what you want </li></ul>
  14. 14. Word Searching <ul><li>Instead of typing in the first thing that comes to mind, try to be strategic about how you search </li></ul><ul><li>We will learn more about some of these techniques later, but in the meantime, look at how a little tweaking can dramatically improve search results </li></ul>New & Improved
  15. 15. Word Searching <ul><li>Look at how the search changed: </li></ul>
  16. 16. Word Searching <ul><li>Look at how the results changed: </li></ul>
  17. 17. The Real Results Okay…maybe the results aren’t completely dramatic, but he’s on the right path. The New and Improved Luther
  18. 18. I want to try the Catkins’ Diet!
  19. 19. The End