Keeping Current: Advanced Internet Strategies to Meet Librarian and Patron Needs

Madely du Preez (University of South Africa)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 1 June 2004




du Preez, M. (2004), "Keeping Current: Advanced Internet Strategies to Meet Librarian and Patron Needs", Online Information Review, Vol. 28 No. 3, pp. 240-241.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Librarians can find it an overwhelming challenge to keep up with the ever‐growing Web, professional resources and information for customers. Keeping Current, Steven Cohen's latest book, provides practical advice on how these busy librarians can remain current while the Web grows bigger and deeper. He discusses the methods that are used for staying current, which could range from establishing membership on discussion lists and mailing lists to attending professional conferences and reading library‐related Weblogs.

Cohen discusses the history of currency in library and information science in Chapter 1. He shows how currency has changed over the years, how it has affected the way librarians perform reference work, and why keeping current has become more difficult since the advent of the Web. The chapter also notes that the ways previously used by librarians to keep current have not been abandoned, but have merely been transformed into a digital medium.

Search engines receive attention in Chapter 2. Here Cohen discusses search engines and the importance of staying on top of the daily changes in the databases that are searched, including the search features of the search engines themselves. It includes a discussion on the invisible Web and provides tools that are used to dig deeper into the invisible Web to bring the invisible information to light.

Cohen takes a good look at Web site monitoring software that would allow the user to keep up with multiple Web sites on one piece of software in Chapter 3. He shows how the time used for professional development work on the Web will be cut down by the use of Web site monitoring software.

Weblogs are a chronological listing of postings to a Web site with links to other Web sites, news articles, or anything else that the writers find interesting on the Web, as well as commentary on those links or news articles. The focus in Chapter 4 is on the creation of Weblogs, and it also provides a review of one of the programs that is used to create a Weblog. It also addresses the pros and cons of using Weblogs for currency and discusses the Weblogs that are available in the field of library and information science.

Chapter 5 discusses rich site summary or really simple syndication (RSS) feeds. Here Cohen discusses the ways in which these feeds can be used to keep current and how librarians can save time while using them. In conclusion, Cohen compares the use of RSS feeds and Web site monitoring software. He also highlights some of the reasons why users would subscribe to RSS feed if it is available to them.

Keeping Current is a practical book describing the use of all the new cool tools librarians can use to overcome the daunting deluge of information on the Web. It clearly shows how cutting‐edge technology can assist librarians in accessing and organising information found on the Web. It offers expert guidelines and insightful evaluations of software and products that could help librarians do their jobs better, easier and faster.

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