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While I’m thinking about it….

We’ve got a bunch of specialized search engines:
In Yahoo! we can search Creative Commons content here. We can do the same in Google here.
We can search U.S. government sites here.
I can search university and college sites alone here.
I can search a lot of public blogs here.
I can limit by domain and country. Some topical searches are possible, but I am always getting questions like:
1. What public libraries have cool audiobook/talking book sites?
2. What are the interesting kids’ sites? Anyone doing online story hours?
3. What are the best ideas in teen sites?
4. What’s working for seniors now?
5. Who’s doing innovative stuff in virtual book clubs?
etc. etc.
I see lots of cool stuff but my brain’s Rolodex is weak. Meat cleaver searches on library stuff in generic Google is very unsatisfactory and still mixes wheat and chaff. I want just the public library context and searches just don’t satisfice me right now.
I know about Peter Scott’s great LibDex: The Library Index here. It only finds libraries – try searching ‘teen’ and get null results.
Soooo – Why can’t I search the content of all North American (or international) public library sites in one place? I’m not talking about their catalogues or OpenWorldCat. I mean their pages. How do we easily find all the cool stuff that public libraries have done?
Am I missing something somewhere? Does this exist already? It seems like such a useful thing for library website developers, owners and strategists to have. Right now searching for innovation in the public librarysphere just feels so hunt and peck. Could someone create a targeted harvest using a list of URL’s? Then we could share best practices, get better more quickly, allow innovation to diffuse more quickly, build on success… seems like a no-brainer.
At the stroke of midnight on Dec. 31st, that magical time, I think I’ll wish for this in 2006 (right after peace, health and happiness).
Just a thought.
Happy New Year!

Posted on: December 28, 2005, 3:38 pm Category: Uncategorized