Karen Markey presents a guide to online searching in new textbook

For librarians, the ability to connect users with quality information requires a searching prowess and an acute understanding of modern information platforms. 

University of Michigan School of Information Professor Karen Markey’s experience with online searching began with the earliest commercial and end-user systems of the mid 1970s. As information technology rapidly evolved, Markey has devoted her research to helping librarians and end users search open web search engines and proprietary database systems more efficiently and effectively.

In her new textbook, Online Searching: A Guide to Finding Quality Information Efficiently and Effectively, published by Rowman and Littlefield, Markey instructs librarians on how to become expert online searchers. The book presents seven steps for skillful online searching, from determining what the user really wants in the reference interview to choosing the right search strategy, sharing retrievals with users and encouraging them to evaluate the information they find online. 

"Online Searching is the complete classroom experience in a book for the aspiring expert searcher,” says Markey. “It simplifies the complicated process of interviewing end users and searching online for answers to their questions into seven easy-to-understand steps, providing real topics to search online along with suggested answers, and making recommendations about what end users should be taught about online searching."

Book topics range from search tactics to a ten-point method for familiarizing oneself with a new database to broader discussions of online searching in the current information age. Feature videos with simple language, illustrations and animation provide visual supplements for understanding online searching concepts and are freely available at onlinesearching.org.

Online Searching is the new go-to manual for librarians who are charged with finding the best information from the myriad online sources available today,” says Carol Tenopir, Chancellor's Professor and Board of Visitors Professor at University of Tennessee’s School of Information Sciences. “This book focuses on mastering today’s information-rich environment and is a must for everyone who teaches or conducts online searches.”

Karen Markey teaches the organization of information, collection development and online searching in the University of Michigan School of Information. She published her most recent IMLS-sponsored research on the potential of using online social games to teach end users how to conduct library research in Designing Information Literacy Games Students Want to Play, also published by Rowman & Littlefield. 

Markey has a PhD in Library and Information Science from Syracuse University.

Watch Karen Markey's InfoMinute video on tips for online search.

Posted on August 12, 2015