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Google Turns 20 — some thoughts

As we celebrate Google‘s 20th birthday today, let’s take a look at how Google has impacted research in the library. Google is a tool that has some really great benefits, but also some drawbacks. It does a really great job of using natural language in its search, allowing users to type in common phrases without having to think about keyword combinations. Google Scholar allows anyone to search through quality academic journals, do extensive forward and backward citation searching and even access the full text of articles unavailable in the library. Most importantly, Google has given millions of students and faculty instant access to knowledge and information that could have taken hours of working with a Reference librarian in a library. This access gives students more time to search for and read their sources and produce better research.

But… it still has flaws to consider. As good as the spoken language search has become, Google is still keyword-based, which puts the onus on the searcher to find and use the best keywords. Also, Google’s PageRank tool emphasizes websites that contain a high number of links, or that are linked to a high number of times, over those with less, which can rank pages with poor quality or inaccurate information higher above better quality pages. Google Scholar, for all the access it provides, most results are not full text and contains many non-refereed, non-academic sources mixed in the results. And while Google provides instant access to millions of pages of information, it leaves it up to YOU, the searcher, to determine what is of value and what is not.

Google has given us so much, but has also made it more important than ever that we can evaluate the sources we find, especially for scholarly research.

It is up to you to Google wisely.

– Brendan Johnson

International Podcast Day

Saturday, September 30th is International Podcast Day!

Our favorite podcasts are entertaining, informative, thought provoking and challenging.

Rather than get road rage during your commute, why not tune in to something that will stimulate your brain and result in further investigation and research on the topic? Or, you may choose something lighter that delivers current events or topics of the day with a humorous twist.

If you never or rarely tune in, here are some that library staff, family and friends have suggested as favorites:

Good to Know

Slowburn

Cinescapism

How I Built This

The RFK Tapes

We Came To Win

Serial

Crimetown

30 for 30

WTF with Marc Maron

Academic Minute

Binge Mode

Time Magazine just released a list of what they consider the 50 Best Podcasts to Listen to Right Now. Maybe you recognize one or two of your favorites in the list?

Let us know what you think!

– Marian Courtney

Technology Upgrades in Drexel Library and the Post Learning Commons

  • All 50 computers replaced in Drexel Lab
  • All 30 computers replaced in the PLC
  • All 21 computers replaced in the DMZ
  • All Library workspaces are now fully migrated to Windows 10 and all computers are running the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of applications
  • 29 computers in Drexel now have Factset installed on them.
Thanks to the Technology Support Services staff and summer student workers!

Group Study Rooms are now self-service!

You can now book Group Study Rooms online, anytime.  Follow these easy instructions to book with the new, campus-wide scheduling system.

Access the system from the Nest under “Reserve A Room,” or from the Library Website under “Spaces,” or directly, using the link: schedule.sju.edu.

Group Study Booking

Reservations are subject to the Study Room Reservation & Use Policy

  • Rooms are for groups of 2 or more students
  • Rooms can be reserved for a maximum of 2 hours
  • Rooms can be reserved up to two weeks in advance.
  • Students cannot set up a standing appointment that meets regularly in the room.
  • Students can have up to 3 room reservations per week
  • Students may not make back-to-back reservations on the same day for the same room.
  • Please dispose of or remove any trash as you leave the room.
  • Please return whiteboard markers and erasers to the front desk as well as any special equipment checked out for use in the rooms.
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