You are here

In this era of disappearing budgets and increasing workload it can be difficult to keep up with all the new web sources that can supplement your library's reference collection. This course will update you on free websites you can use to find the answers to up to 70% of ready reference questions. You'll learn where to find information quickly on topics such as:

  • Public domain photos of the 2003 California fires;
  • County public records available free online;
  • Whether or not it's legal in California to be stopped for not wearing a seatbelt;
  • The ten countries with the highest proportion of Catholic residents;
  • Online videos about libraries;
  • All the bands who have ever recorded a version of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love."

Completing this course will help you save time, frustration, and budget dollars and will enable you to serve your users more quickly and efficiently

Workshop Description: This all-day hands-on workshop will teach you the tools you need to mine the web for answers to ready reference questions. Through exercises and group discussions, you will update your knowledge of the best free websites for finding reliable answers to questions you might otherwise have to refer elsewhere. You will also explore gateways and portals designed to lead you to the best information on specific topics and will learn new uses for old ready reference standbys. Instructor Sarah Houghton will provide cheat sheets and a webliography, as well as practical tips for improving your search strategies to reduce the time you spend searching for that elusive answer.

Preliminary Course Outline:

  • Gateways and Ready Reference
    • Library gateways
    • Ready reference tools
  • Subject Resources
    • Health
    • Law
    • Religion
    • Government & history
    • Statistics
    • News
    • Art
    • Music
    • Books
    • Multimedia
    • Business
    • Directories
    • Consumer resources
  • Additional techniques for finding and using online reference tools

Workshop Instructor: Sarah Houghton