|Casper Journal Articles
From the Natrona County Public Library
Stop Searching, Start Finding
By Karen Burd, Reference Librarian
July 22, 2009
The last time you used an online search engine, how many results did it turn up? Ten thousand? Thirty Thousand? Do you have the time to sort through all those websites?
A lot of information exists online, but often the sheer amount works against us. Some sites appear to have what we need, but turn out to be comprised of just ads, or a different topic entirely. Other pages only supply opinions and aren’t reliable for the project at hand. Even sorted by relevancy, the best pages can be far enough down the list that we never find them.
So with the whole internet before us and a specific question to answer, how do we stop searching and start actually finding what we need?
That is what your library is for! Librarians are trained to find and organize information, and their expertise is available not only in person when the library is open, but also from home or work any time of the day or night through our website, www.natronacountylibrary.org.
I once was able fix a problem on my vehicle, plus win a friendly bet with a family member just because I knew about a key library resource that was available online.
During a heated discussion at a family gathering about women knowing nothing about automobiles, I bet my uncle more than I’d like to admit that I could change the heavily worn front brake pads on my car all by myself. He would provide the space and the tools. I would have to accomplish the task without asking for instructions.
A few days later when my temper cooled off, I started to realize I was in over my head, but the next thing I knew, I was out of time and had to complete the task the next morning.
I really did not want to lose that bet, if only so I wouldn’t look silly in front of my relatives. The library was closed by this time, so I logged on to the library website, selected “Online Resources” and found the link to ChiltonLibrary.
There, I was able to find everything I needed to complete the job.
ChiltonLibrary gave me directions and tips for removing the old brake pads and detailed instructions on how to install the new pads, complete with diagrams and photographs of an actual brake job in process.
The project took me five hours to complete while my uncle and 3 of his friends watched, but I won the bet. I’ve also heard that several of my uncle’s car fixin’ friends now swear by the ChiltonLibrary database.
As a librarian, I had the advantage of already knowing where to go for reliable and complete information on my project.
You can gain that advantage by using the online resources your library offers. Topics include Automotive, Consumer Reports, Employment, Genealogy, Legal Resources, Personal Finance, Medical Info, Local and National Government, and much more.
Many of our best resources would normally require a costly subscription to use, but they are free to Natrona County citizens with your library card and pin.
So if, like me, you’d prefer to find, rather than search for information, check out www.natronacountylibrary.org and click on “Search the Online Resources” or ask a librarian to show you around next time you visit the library.
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