How does a librarian think? In general, we:
- think in categories
- learn how the tools work
In a particular search, we start broad, and get narrower, roughly in this order:
- Which fields ask questions about that topic? (And what kinds of questions are they asking?)
- Which resources do we have at our disposal to find information in that field?
- which research guides
- which tools in the catalog,
- which databases?
- What expert terms does a subject encyclopedia suggest?
- Which terms in which databases return the most relevant results?
- Collect articles.
- Then we start reading for detail.
Spiral image courtesy of: Weisstein, Eric W. "Golden Spiral." From MathWorld--A Wolfram Web Resource. http://mathworld.wolfram.com/GoldenSpiral.html