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Library with a Thousand Databases

Library with a Thousand Databases

In his book, *The Hero with a Thousand Faces*, Joseph Campbell laid out a narrative pattern he saw across myths, stories, and religious rituals that he called The Hero's Journey. The hero moved out of the ordinary world into the "Special realm," where she encountered all manner of obstacles before coming back to the ordinary world transformed.

As librarians, it's easy for us to forget that many patrons leave the ordinary world for the "special realm" of library research databases when they use our services. For decades, these tools have been disconnected, proprietary tools that require a truly epic amount of effort from our hero/patrons if they are to find their treasure (usually articles, books, or citations). But it doesn't have to be this way. We can make the journey easier for our patrons with the right tools and an eye toward improving the search experience.

Matthew Reidsma

November 18, 2013
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  1. THE LIBRARY
    MATTHEW REIDSMA
    GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
    WITH
    A THOUSAND
    DATABASES

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  2. Image from Wikipedia: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/56/Tondo_Minotaur_London_E4_MAN.jpg

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  3. From the film Labyrinth, 1986

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  4. Theseus fighting the Minotaur by Jean-Etienne Ramey, marble, 1826, Tuileries Gardens, Paris

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  5. A Hero with the Thousand Faces, 1973, p. 30
    “ A hero ventures forth from the
    world of common day into a
    region of supernatural wonder:
    Jospeh Campbell

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  6. A Hero with the Thousand Faces, 1973, p. 30
    “ fabulous forces are there
    encountered and a decisive
    victory is won:
    Jospeh Campbell

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  7. A Hero with the Thousand Faces, 1973, p. 30
    “ the hero comes back from this
    mysterious adventure with the
    power to bestow boons on his
    fellow man.
    Jospeh Campbell

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  8. SPECIAL REALM
    NORMAL WORLD
    SUPREME ORDEAL
    CALL TO ADVENTURE
    CROSSING THE
    THRESHOLD
    RETURNING
    HOME

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  9. Image from Wikipedia: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/56/Tondo_Minotaur_London_E4_MAN.jpg

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  10. From the film Labyrinth, 1986

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  11. Theseus fighting the Minotaur by Jean-Etienne Ramey, marble, 1826, Tuileries Gardens, Paris

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  12. LIBRARY RESEARCH
    NORMAL WORLD
    SUPREME ORDEAL
    INFORMATION NEED
    DATABASE
    A-Z LIST
    DOWNLOADING
    FULL-TEXT

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  13. Shared by Erin White on Twitter: https://twitter.com/erinrwhite/status/347380407039307776

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  14. From the film Labyrinth, 1986

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  15. UNFAMILIARITY

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  16. EPIC
    WHILE SOME SEARCHES ARE
    MOST ARE NOT

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  17. EASIER?
    HOW DO WE MAKE THIS

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  18. What makes something simple
    or complex? It’s not the number
    of dials or controls or how
    many features it has:

    Donald Norman
    Living with Complexity, p. 40

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  19. It is whether the person using
    the device has a good
    conceptual model of how it
    operates.

    Donald Norman
    Living with Complexity, p. 40

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  20. RULE THEM ALL
    ONE SEARCH TO

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  21. Theseus fighting the Minotaur by Jean-Etienne Ramey, marble, 1826, Tuileries Gardens, Paris

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  22. The more expert we
    become at a subject,
    the more complexity
    we prefer.

    Donald Norman
    Living with Complexity, p. 13

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  23. http://www.daveyp.com/blog/archives/1754
    “ The trouble with Summon is
    that students don’t need to be
    taught how to use it, but
    librarians do!
    Matt Borg

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