When I talk with people about their research methods, most will tell me, with varying degrees of sheepishness, that they always begin with Google.   I try to reassure them that there’s nothing wrong with this approach.  I generally begin any research I am doing with a quick Google search.

But there are times when Google doesn’t find what I need.   Last week, Kevin Purdy of Lifehacker wrote a post called “When Not to Google:  Searches You’re Better off Making Elsewhere.”    In this article, Purdy describes four search engines:  DuckDuckGo, Blekko, WolfamAlpha, and Bing, and he discusses when and why you might want to use each one instead of Google.

I have one search engine to add:  the librarian.  In the early days of the web, I used to tell students, “Five minutes in the library can save your 5 hours on the web,” and that adage still holds true a lot of the time.  If you’re looking for a perfect article for a paper or an elusive bit of statistical information, and Google isn’t getting you what you need, check in with your librarian.   We can help you navigate through our electronic and print resources, and you’ll probably end up with exactly what you need.

So the next time Google leaves you feeling frustrated, stop in at the library.  We can even show you how to Google better.