Saturday, March 22, 2008

#17: ELM Productivity Tools

Create a Search Alert: It seems I'm having the same problems that others are having. The video won't run on my computer, and while I can execute the search, get results, get to 'Create A Search Alert', and am able to copy the URL, it won't work in my aggregator (Netvibes). When I go to 'Add a Feed' and try to paste the url, I get the same message that others did: "Sorry, no feeds found at this url". I tried other searches, with the same result. I was able to set up an email alert, though, which might be the easier way to be informed of new articles on a subject, anyway. Wow! Back in the day, when I worked for a biomedical company and their R&D engineers needed to stay current on a specific process, I had to rerun saved searches through DIALOG on a frequent basis, paying each time. Things sure have come a LONG way!

Page Composer: I created an account in Academic Search Premier and then created a web page about Science Fair Projects, including a search box and links to web sites. I saved the page and emailed it to myself. This seemed like an easy and straightforward process, that could be used to create 'helper' search guides.

Proquest: I found 4 interesting full-text articles about social networking that appeared in the Washington Post during 2007. I marked those article and emailed them. Then I went back and removed the search strategies and updated the listing - that was a nice option to be able to do. I saved those results. This was a very simple and straightforward process, that I had never tried before. What a great resource for anyone doing research!

NetLibrary: I created an account and searched for occurences of branding within "101 Ways to Promote Your Web Site". It was easy to make notes and see them again. I liked that all the citation information was automatically provided. This would be great for bibliographies and footnotes. I couldn't help but think it would be a nice feature, to be able to highlight or underline also. I've used NetLibrary before, but the notes option was new to me. I look forward to the day that our system provides eAudioBooks through NetLibrary, or Overdrive, or whatever.

I think we have access to these same ELM products, through our MNLink interface - Basic Search, then choose the database from the 'Current Profile' dropdown menu. But I could be wrong...

It's amazing how much is available to our patrons through ELM! I wish there were an easy way to educate patrons about this. Along with AllData, Reference USA, and Ancestry Library Edition, these databases have such a wealth of information. But it seems like most of our patrons are still unaware of them. I think we (libraries in general) need to do a better job of marketing all of our online resources.

No comments: