Friday, February 25, 2005

Do you use a digital library every day? Why not?

This question occurred to me this morning as I was laying in bed. I do a lot of research -- both personal and professional -- and am on a daily basis looking for some tidbit to prove a point or help me learn something new. But I rarely seek out a "digital library" to help me in my research efforts (unless I automatically know that a particular database held in a digital library that will be of help).

Why? The answer is simple. Because of how digital libraries are indexed (or not indexed) I cannot quickly identify those that contains what I need. If there is a fast way of identifying a digital library and its strengths, I haven't found it. (If you have, please let me know. Perhaps a searchable directory of digital libraries and digitization projects?) What I do find -- through any search engine -- are those pages (reputable or not) that contain information that is related to my topic. Which brings me to one other thought...a search engine will take me to a specific page. If it finds (somehow) a digital library that would be helpful, I might have to do another search in that collection, creating a longer process for me to find the information I need.

Should I vow to use a digital library every day or make digital libraries my first choice for finding information? mmm...sounds like a possible resolution that I'm not ready (or able) to keep.

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