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One New Thing
Friday, January 23, 2004
 
One New Thing: Tips and tricks on a regular search engine may be doomed to obscurity as the algorithms used become less and less effective…we as librarians are going to have to rely on technological wizards to solve the problem of an ever-growing web by providing us with better search tools.

That’s what I read out of this article about Hypersearching the Web from a team of researchers working on the Clever project. For the first time it’s occurred to me that even though finding information on the web can be very like finding information in a book to a librarian who does it every day, this time librarians are reliant on some other profession to provide the tools for information retrieval rather than working toward doing it themselves. What I mean is that we are not the ones developing search engine technology and understanding firsthand how well it works and why, as has been the case with the tools of our trade to date. Any librarians out there with IT savvy looking for a PhD project…go stick in two cents with search engine developers for us!!

I’ve also found a fantastic site recommended by Researchbuzz a few days ago, and I will be adding it to the NLRP directory (under Tools), but I wanted to mention it separately because I think it is such a great idea! I am talking about Bookmarklets, small javascript files that you store in your Favorites that let you collect particular snippets of information off any webpage, or even alter the way it appears to you. My picks for most useful Bookmarklets are the following:
- Page Freshness: tells you what date and time the page was last modified on the server
- List Links: a single list of all the hyperlinks on the page
- Page Color: changes the background colour to whatever you specify
Of course depending on how you like to surf you’ll probably find much more that interests you on this page. And they’re free to download and use!

I’m also adding a link to this summary of the Deep Web because it’s very comprehensible. It’s on the Librarianism page.

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