Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Finding Your Way Government Directories

What is the value of print directories when information can be found using search engines or the search features on Web sites?

Directories are written and edited by individuals who draw upon their experience in government to produce entries for any given subject.  Search engine’s digital algorithms only return a mass of unevaluated sites for each subject.  The list-oriented structure of directories aid the reader by directing them to items about government entities and organizations.  This structure also facilitates browsing to related, but previously unknown information that is adjacent on the page. 

A good directory provides only the best and most pertinent information for a subject at the time of its publication.  While it is true that print publications cannot keep up with the infinite changes of the World Wide Web, the value of directories is the quality of the information they direct the reader to.  If the web address in the listing is no longer active, then the reader can still track useful information on the names of organizations and any subsequent data about them.

The Al Harris Library has directories in both digital and print formats.  See our display on the first floor of the library to examine some print examples of government directories.  The United States Government Internet Directory has an abundance of government web sites allowing you to explore previously unknown sites in the hidden web.   Other titles we recommend for viewing are:  Washington Information Directory, the State Information Directory, and the Parks Directory of the United States offering you ideas for the perfect vacation this summer.

Whether the topic of interest is government, business, or recreational directories are powerful tools for locating authoritative information, which have been vetted for accuracy.  In fact, these directories should be recognized as a neglected footpath that leads to self-empowerment and success.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Jacques Cousteau

Check out the newest display at the Al Harris Library on Jacques-Yves Cousteau.  The accomplishments of this man in any one arena dwarf those of most men.  He was a war hero, author of 50 books, creator of 120 films, and co-inventor of the SCUBA diving aparatus.    He was most known by the television series he produced from 1966 to 1994.  His most important accomplishment was simply making people aware of how man and pollution are increasingly damaging our fragile ecosystem.  All of the display books are available for you to take home and dive into!