A Librarian's Guide to the Internet: Searching and Evaluating Information

Madely du Preez (University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 1 June 2004




du Preez, M. (2004), "A Librarian's Guide to the Internet: Searching and Evaluating Information", Online Information Review, Vol. 28 No. 3, pp. 241-242. https://doi.org/10.1108/14684520410543742



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Jeanne Froidevaux Müller regularly contributes to a column in the respected magazine, Managing Information, and is currently working in a public library where she is responsible for the library system and statistics, as well as being head of cataloguing. In A Librarian's Guide to the Internet she successfully guides readers through the maze of information available on the Internet, showing the friendly coexistence among books, libraries and the Internet. She is of the opinion that people who read and who are used to using libraries will find it easier to navigate the Web.

Throughout the book Müller uses non‐technical terms where possible, and where technical issues cannot be avoided she tries to explain them with non‐technical comparisons. She also stresses that the Internet is a means to distribute and to gather information that, one hopes, can be transformed into knowledge. A good look is also taken at the differences between data, information and knowledge.

The focus of Chapter 3 is on search strategies, where Müller demonstrates some of her personal search strategies developed over the years. Apart from describing various search methods she also includes search tips, for example looking for scientific information. Her aim is to give enough handy tips and strategies so that readers will have enough confidence and familiarity with it to be able to deal with any changes that might be made as long as they keep working with it.

The discussion in Chapter 4 is on search engines, directories and gateways. A list of major search engines is given along with accompanying descriptions taken from the Web page of Search Engine Watch in January 2003. This is followed by an explanation of how a search engine works and some basic search engine strategies. A discussion of Google is used to show how a search engine works in detail.

Chapter 5 is about the interpretation and evaluation of results. Since the technical points are important and have to be considered and evaluated in order to gain a complete picture, they are discussed first. Müller then goes into many technical details when she discusses software requirements, navigation and design of Web pages.

How to teach customers what the librarian knows and knowing what the customers want receives attention in Chapter 6. Here Müller encourages librarians to use the Dewey Decimal Classification and to maintain a list of Web addresses or Web sites using the same system. She includes a number of Internet resources, organised according to Dewey, that might help librarians in their daily work or in doing their own research.

A Librarian's Guide to the Internet is an exciting and practical book aimed at the busy information professional and successfully provides the reader with an authoritative view of current thinking. It is, like the other books in the Chandos’ new series of books, designed to provide easy‐to‐read and practical coverage of topics that are of interest to librarians and other information professionals.

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