Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Resource Review: Credo Reference

Those Coker students that have had a library instruction class or have had one of our one credit courses (LIB 101 or 301) know we librarians really like reference resources. Reference resources, whether they come from our traditional reference section or as an e-resource, are excellent places to begin research. But why?
  1. These resources provide overviews of a topic, which serve to get the researcher into the mindset of that topic or subject matter
  2. They provide search terms and ideas to broaden or widen your research
  3. Most reference resources provide a bibliography or works cited list, doing some of your research for you.
With these ideas in mind, we will be taking a look at one of our newer e-resources: Credo Reference.

Credo Reference features (at this writing) 463 separate reference books containing over 3,000,000 entries. These titles are automatically updated with newer versions (if available) and new works are added frequently.

Above is the current homepage for Credo. As you can see, the basic Search is the default search type, providing simple access to the entire collection.

The next tab over features an Image Search, perfect for art students looking for specific examples of an artist's work. There are plenty of art resources including the National Gallery of London's collection and the Bridgeman Art Library Archive (to name a very few).

Advanced Search brings you a more powerful set of search parameters, such as phrase searching, Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT), and date range limiters.

Find a Book, miraculously, allows you to search for a specific book in the collection. Note that if you roll your mouse over a title, you will get a picture of the book cover and a brief description of the book's contents (Click on the picture to make it larger):

Concept Map is a (relatively) new way of looking at information visually. Enter a search term, and Credo will output a map of concepts and terms, with your search term usually in the middle:

Each one of those terms is a separate entry in Credo Reference, and can be previewed by holding your mouse over the phrase or term (See picture above, click to enlarge).

Concept mapping is a great information discovery tool, especially in subject areas that are either new or unfamiliar to us.

Finally, the Gadgets tool offers unique information access:

This unique tool can be dragged to any part of your screen or opened in a new window or tab to be used even after leaving Credo Reference. The Gadgets provide some of the quick answers that you would expect from Google -- except these answers come from a trusted resource.

All in all, Credo Reference offers a great range of e-reference resources that are easy to use and access.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Saturday Hours

The Library will open at 10:00AM this Saturday, February 6. Come on in and enjoy a few more hours of academic pursuits.