Using Google Books in Reference

August 18, 2009 at 3:10 pm Leave a comment

It seems like there are fewer and fewer real reference questions these days.  You know, those that challenge us to use every single tool of librarianship that we know- the ones we really love.  Well, lucky me, I’ve had several of them lately and I have used Google Books to aid in my quest for an answer each time.  I must confess, while I use most Google apps in either my classes or personal life, their Books app was one I tended to overlook.  Never again – I’m a confirmed user of Google Books  when I need to find an obscure citation, especially if it’s over twenty years old. 

Using this tool yesterday, I was able to locate the exact date and page numbers for an article a patron needed for an upcoming lecture.  She had an old photocopy of the article, minus everything but the name of the journal.  It turned out that the journal had changed names, but I was still able to use the author’s name in Google Books to track down the bibliographic information needed to get a copy of this 40 year old article through interloan.   This same article had been cited in a book that appeared on Google Books – and this is the third time recently I’ve been able to track down older article citations using this tool.  I am certainly adding it to my favorite tools list when I am faced with a challenging reference query.

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Entry filed under: projects at work.

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Well Rounded Librarian by Kathy Petlewski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.


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