Posted by: eheino | March 11, 2013

Exploring CSU Library databases

Since my last university experience was in 2008, I found that not a lot has changed since I last studied in regards to library databases. However, despite having four years experience exploring these databases, it amazed me how much I didn’t know about or utilise before participating in the online tutorials. Having come from University of  Wollongong, it was useful to find out which databases CSU had access to, and how to access them, as the methods are slightly different to UOW.

Without having the opportunity to explore different methods of searching for journal articles, I probably would have stuck to Primo Search, since it is the simplest. However this is clearly not the most efficient way of finding relevant information. For example, when I searched Resource Based Learning on Primo Search, it came up with 1,152,412 results! It would certainly take some time to go through these results to find the ones that area relevant to me. In contrast, searching Resource Based Learning with Ebsco gave me 61 results, and Informit gave me 80 results. These results are much more manageable, and more relevant too, particularly the Ebsco ones since it is an Education journal. During my exploration I discovered that you can narrow the search further by only searching the Education section of Ebsco rather than using Academic Search Complete, which could prove useful in future.

Like many others in my course, I didn’t know about the folder creating capability of many databases these days. I’m not sure if this was available when I was at uni, but if it was I wasn’t aware of it. I have had a play around with a few databases that allow me to do this, and I imagine it is going to save me a lot of time and energy when it comes to writing assignments, as well as saving space on my ever-shrinking hard drive.

Completing this exploration brought Barbara’s iceberg graphic to mind, and the librarian’s responsibility to enable patrons’ access to the “Hidden Web.”  I am sure that these journals and databases are only a small part of this hidden web, but they are filled with much more reputable sources than the ‘www.’ Many students fall into the trap of resorting to Google to search for information, and it is the teacher librarian’s responsibility to empower students with the knowledge to navigate the portions of the ‘hidden web’ they have access to. As Student Teacher Librarians, this is the time for us to become fluent with this technology, so we will be able to fulfil this role for our students in the future.

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