This week (25-31 May) is Library and Information Week and this year’s theme is “Libraries your passport to discovery”. ALIA says that this year’s theme seeks to highlight “the self-directed discovery element of libraries and to celebrate libraries as the place to access, communicate, connect, educate, entertain and inform.”
Mosman Library in Sydney is currently getting into the swing of Library and Information Week by pitting their reference librarian against *that* search engine. Each day during Libray and Information, a typical reference query will be issued to the library’s reference librarian (who will use items from the library’s electronic reference resources) and to their Internet and IT service librarian (who will use *that* search engine – yes, you know the one!).
Each librarian has 45 minutes to research the question and an additional 45 minutes to answer the query, as well as outline the search strategy that they employed to find the answer. You can follow the action – and vote for the winning search strategy and answers to the queries – on the Mosman Library vs that search engine challenge blog. Questions are posted to the blog daily at 10 AM (AEST), with answers posted at 12 noon. The winner will be announced on Monday 1 June.
For many of us, Google is the preferred search engine of choice. One of the main reasons that it continues to enjoy such a consistent level of popularity is its easy to use interface, as well as a raft of innovative features that are continually being improved upon.
Google has recently announced the upcoming release of Google Squared, which aims to include smarter, more relevant search results from any Google search. Search results will display graphically, in “squares” (table format), providing snippets of relevant information about the search term. The information that is displayed about the search topic can also be customised by the user.
Google Squared search results, via Google Blogoscoped.
You can view a brief demo of Google Squared’s capabilities here.
Google Squared will will soon be available for testing via Google Labs so keep your eye on upcoming developments and why not have a play with a few of Google’s other offerings in the pipeline while you’re there?
While you wait for Google Squared to be tested and implemented, you might want to take advantage of even more search options that are currently available in Google’s search results. You can watch a nice summary of the current search options here.