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September 2012, Volume 4, Issue 8

Continuing Education Alert

Check Your Calendars!!

One Book SD 2012

Library Card Sign-Up Month

Indian Ed Summit
Sept. 23-25

Festival of Books
Sept. 28-30

Banned Books Week
Sept. 30 – Oct. 6

Banned Websites Awareness Day
Oct. 3

SDLA Annual Conference
Oct. 3-5

Teen Read Week
Oct. 14-20

National Friends of Libraries Week
Oct. 21-27

Featured e-Resources of the Month
Tips for getting better online search results

Featured eResources of the Month


Tips for getting better online search results

State Library electronic resources, Google, Wikipedia and other online sites are what we rely on to get answers to today's questions. What should you type in the search box to get the best answer quickly? Some rules hold true regardless of where you search.

  1. Stop and think.
    • What is the purpose for the search?
    • How much information is needed?
    • What do you already know?
    • What kind of site would have the information you want?
  2. Visualize.
    • What will your ideal search results look like?
    • Use search terms that will likely appear in the results.
  3. Still can't come up with the right search terms?
    • Look for terms within your search results.
    • Use synonyms, for example, "H1N1" in addition to "swine flu."
    • Start with general terms and narrow them down, for example, "frogs" instead of "red-eyed tree frog."
  4. Need more information?
    • Look at references and bibliographies within your search result articles or blogs.
    • Click through live links to the articles.
    • Glance at authors' names. If one name appears a few times, that person may be a subject expert. Search that name and your topic.
    • The bottom of Wikipedia articles often reference a subject's "official" website.
  5. Tricks to keep in your toolbox:
    • Using quotation marks allows you to search for exact phrases as they appear on websites rather than as individual words. A search for "solar energy" will yield results for those words together, instead of a page that merely contains those words.
    • Control-F is an easy find tool, helping you quickly find your search term on any online page (website, pdf, Word or Excel document, etc.).
    • Use the site's Advanced Search feature, which will guide your search creation.
    • Truncation searching doesn't work in all sites, but is worth a try. Use an asterisk when you want to capture all variants of a word. For example, compute* would give results for "compute," "computer" and "computers."
    • Use this wildcard when you are unsure of a spelling, such as wom#n to get results for "woman" and "women" or Anders#n to get results for "Anderson" and "Andersen."
  6. Evaluate your results for credibility, relevancy, authority, currency and bias.

Want to learn more? Join Julie Erickson and Jane Healy at two up-coming webinars. Search Smart on Sept. 6 is a repeat of the webinar given May 8. Good Information Sources on Sept. 19 will help you evaluate websites. Get more information and register at

Other search tips are available from these sites:





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