Jul 20, 2009

Competency #6 - Retrieval Approaches

This week we will be reviewing four search strategies; Citation Pearl, Browsing, Building Block, and Successive Fractions. We will be using these methods to search for literature discussing the topic of challenged or banned books.

Citation Pearl:

For my Citation Pearl search I used the Project Muse database. I chose an article that covers my topic, challenged and banned books. The article is titled, Banned Books: Forbidden Fruit: the Beginning of the Grapes of Wrath in the Kern County Free Library by Lingo.

If I view the descriptors I see; libraries, censor, censorship, books

Next, I will conduct a new search using my descriptors,
s1 - censorship
s2 - books
= 3,708 results.

This resulted in 3,708 results. I notice an article titled Hidden Forms of Censorship and Their Impact. When I view the descriptors in this article I see 'children's literature' added. I conduct a new search.

s1 - censorship
s2 - books
s3 - children's literature
= 1,548 results.

By repeating this process I can widen my search using synonyms and broader terms. We can narrow articles to library materials or by school. By building on a "pearl", new searches using descriptors allow us to search and find articles that might not have been returned on an initial search.


For the second search we will browse through some articles using JSTOR.
s1 - book*
s2 - ban*
= 49,229 results.

These returns are hard to manage, so I will narrow my search by adding elementary school.

s1 - book*
s2 - ban*
s3 - elementary school
= 3,536 results

Although this helped, there are still too many records to sift through.

s1 - book*
s2 - ban*
s3 - elementary school
Limiters - English, article btwn 2005-2009
=88 results.

Instilling limiters has definately assisted in my search. Browsing is a great way to start a search before you have narrowed down your requirements. This search technique allows the user to discover and learn new information easily.

Building Block:

For the Building Block approach, I choose WorldCat database.
s1 - challenge*
s2 - ban*
s3 - book
s1 + s2 + s3 = 156,783

156,783 documents were returned. Limits need to be employed to limit the amount of unneccessary returns.

Limit - English, article, s1 = challenge* OR censor, and book is the Subject.
These limiters definately helped. We now have 22 documents that met our criteria.

From these results I would be interested in the article Comic Censorship published in 1991.

Successive Fractions:

LibraryLit searches exactly what the title implies; library literature. Considering this, it isn't necessary to limit searches in this regard. A successive fraction search enables the person to limit or broaden a search using Boolean terms. And/Or was employed in this search.

s1 - challenged OR banned
s2 - books
s3 - OR censored

Results seemed manageable from the start. 1,023 articles were returned. Although that is a good start, we can do better.

Limit: Full-text and articles published 2005-2009

With our new terms, we now have 259 results to look over. Browsing through the first two pages of results, I realize I would like to keep the terms and look further. No additional limiters are needed.

It is obvious that not one answer resides in one place. It takes time and the use of different search techniques to find exactly what is needed. Although some searches return almost an unmanageable amount of returns, it is important to utilize every tool available.