How do you find the information you need?

Earlier in 2006, the Online Computer Library Center  (or OCLC) published their latest findings about college student’s perception of libraries.  Among other things, they found that 90% of the time, college students began their search for information on the Web rather than the college library website.  Obviously, this is one of many traits of “digital natives.”  What students want is one place to search and find what they need rather than having to log into different subscription databases.  No doubt, this will be another enhancement Google will soon figure out.  Recently, at the California School Library Association (CSLA) conference, a representative from Google shared their latest enhancements.  Two of the latest enhancements which impressed me were:

A. Google Book Search (http://books.google.com/)- You search for a book title.  If the book is digitized, you can read it online or you are directed to where the book can be purchased.  Even more exciting, by putting in your local zip code, the search will tell you which local public or university libraries have the book (and then you can use Google map for directions to the library).

B. Google Customized Search (http://www.google.com/coop/) – You can create a customized search that only searches the websites the creator puts into the search.  This has great potential for “filtered” searches in K-12 schools!

What are some of the best guides to finding the information you want?  Check these out:
NoodleQuest asks the user a series of questions about the research and then provides recommended search tools. 
NoodleTools “Best Seach” groups searches by category of information needed.
InfoPeople Recommended Searches (http://www.infopeople.org/search/tools.html) – Organized by this outstanding ILMS funded project in California.
SouthEast Regional Technology in Education Group (Florida) provides another useful search guide.

And for the Web 2.0 crowd, there are…
Podcast Searches at: Education Podcast Network,   IdiotVox ,  Educational Podcast Search
Blog searches at: Technorati,    Google Blog Search
Web 2.0 Searches:  AlexiaWeb 2.0 Search

Does anyone know of a “Wiki Search”?

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