A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico
May 8, 2008 Volume 38 / Number 6


Librarian at Large

Multi-SEARCH and You Will Find

Oy! Your cupboards and refrigerator are filled with a variety of delicious, nutritious foods—and your kids want hamburgers. That’s kind of how it is in the library, where we offer dozens of specialized databases germane to a wide variety of research needs and varying levels of user sophistication, but what do many college students want? A simple Google search box, the very bluntest of blunt instruments. Remember that a simple Google search can have as many empty calories as fast food, returning reams of junk references.

So let them eat Multi-SEARCH, smack dab on the top middle of the Library ReSEARCH Station, http://www.csuchico.edu/library/. Just enter your search terminology in a simple box, and you will get quick results from the library’s online catalog and from Academic Search. For instance, entering the term “ecocriticism” (the study of literature from an ecological perspective) will return 23 books and related materials from the catalog and 47 articles from Academic Search. Now try a more specific one like “ecofiction,” and it doesn’t find anything, but directs you to “eco fiction,” which returns mostly articles about the decidedly non-ecological author Umberto Eco, but also a few relevant ones.

Want more? Want better? Try the Multi-SEARCH on our specific subject resource papers where we have added other relevant databases to the search. Just hit the red link below the main search box for a complete list. Searching “ecocriticism” from the English page yielded an additional 455 entries from Literature Online, 133 from MLA, and 220 from JSTOR. This is particularly useful for very specific or obscure subjects, as an additional 10 relevant hits on “ecocriticism” reveals.

You think you know everything about “Zingg baseball” from those 10 hits in Multi-SEARCH? You can get seven additional ones from SPORT discus on the Recreation Multi-SEARCH page. Granted, a former pitcher would probably not like to be remembered for any “additional hits,” but most of you should enjoy it.

Jim Dwyer, Meriam Library, Bibliographic Services