Library demonstrates new ways to cruise Web with database day
October 26, 2005
Joceyln Durrance and Debra Muzikar from the Pitkin County Library will show off alternative Internet search methods Tuesday along with database experts from around the nation.Searching databases is, in many ways, far more efficient and can provide access to more dependable information than either google or yahoo, which together control 80 percent of the Internet search market.The library’s Database Demo Day will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with demonstrations on the various attributes of database searches on the Internet.
Database representatives will have display tables offering information on simple access to the academic content available on their sites. The librarians mentioned that google, for instance, is a website seeking advertising revenue, whereas the library search engine has no pop-ups or any other ads.The library pays $30,000 in exchange for access to databases, and any library card-holder can access this information for free from home in Aspen or from a laptop anywhere across the country.”They are very conscious about what they put on their sites,” Durrance said. “It’s preselected information – you don’t get any junk.”
A yahoo.com search for “dream theory” afforded about 9.5 million responses, including an acupuncture site, a movie trailer for the film “Dream Theory” and a site describing elements of the subconscious.”That is where info access is going; we don’t feel this is right or wrong, but we want our patrons to have a choice,” Durrance said.Using databases, one can access “preselected journal sources that are professional and precise. … They are sources that are selected on purpose to go into the database on account of being well-selected sources,” she said.
A search for “Prozac” in yahoo.com netted 18 million results (and a mere 5.6 million in google.com). But the library site, under a subsearch of “Prozac” in clinical pharmacology, yielded 3 results; a news search with the system provided 31 responses.”[Google is] like going into a packed football stadium and yelling, ‘Does anyone know anything about Prozac?’ and a nurse in the crowd gives her point of view, and one guy gives [his advice],” Durrance said.The public Tuesday can attend 15-minute demonstrations on how to use databases and receive one-on-one training. The demonstration will take place on the main floor of the library, on the mezzanine and in the children’s room downstairs.