Knowledge Handler

Information Sources & Information Sifting Techniques

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Location: Independence, Ohio, United States

Librarian at Indiana Wesleyan University's Cleveland Education Center.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Social Search

I just read Mark Gibbs' Networkworld column about the social search engine Aardvark. Like Yahoo Answers, Aadvark polls experts for answers, rather than consulting a structured database.

Another category for social search is a database like, where the content is drawn from social networking site content. As it indexes Facebook, Linkedin, and various blogging sites, this appears to be a great tool for finding people.

One cumbersome aspect of using these tools is that they seem to require a login. And the credentialsof the "experts" may sometime be suspect.


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Monday, March 23, 2009

"Huntsman, What Quarry?" (Facts and Wisdom)

Joseph McDonald, Library Director at Bethel College, recently shared this quotation on evaluating facts with the ACL mailing list:

Upon this gifted age, in its dark hour,
Rains from the sky a meteoric shower
Of facts…they lie unquestioned, uncombined.
Wisdom enough to leech us of our ill
Is daily spun; but there exists no loom
To weave it into fabric….
        Edna St. Vincent Millay, Huntsman, What Quarry? Sonnet X

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Europeana is a European Union database with over four million entries describing (and often providing thumbnail images of) European cultural artifacts. There is an extensive list of contributors of images, video clips, and digitized books.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dictionary News

Decoding The Dictionary: Lexicon Evolved To Fit In The Brain, Study Suggests

ScienceDaily (2008-05-01) -- The latest edition of the Oxford English Dictionary boasts 22,000 pages of definitions. While that may seem far from succinct, new research suggests dictionaries are meticulously organized to be as concise as possible -- a format that mirrors the way our brains make sense of and categorize the countless words in our vast vocabulary. ... > read full article

I notice that ScienceDaily joins Wikipedia in offering (though with some flaws)APA or MLA citation for entries -- citation information that library database articles have generally offered for several years.

By the way,, a new online dictionary, is said to be coming available before the close of March.


Tuesday, March 03, 2009


Lexxe is a natural language search tool, similar to Ask and Powerset. What follows is information from the company website:

Founded in 2005, Lexxe Pty Ltd (ACN: 117 090 454) has been developing a third generation Internet search engine with advanced Natural Language Processing technologies. Our initial research and development of the search engine dated back in October 2004, with the help of a number of supportive individuals. Lexxe is based in Sydney, Australia.

"Lexxe", /leksI/ or pronounced 'leksi', our company name, is derived from a linguistic term "Lexical", which means "related to words". It emphasises the processing of language from the level of words and the meanings associated with them, which is a core issue for Lexxe.


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