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BOOlean Operators: For the Emoji Lover In Us All

BOOlean Operators

You know we love a good boolean operator graphic here at Librarian Design Share. Whether its honey badgers or grumpy cats, we’re always happy to share a nice visual that will help us teach the oh-so-useful but deadly boring concept of boolean operators. To avoid that glazed over look students get when you start talking AND/OR/NOT, why not try an emoji?

Today’s submission comes to us from Kelly Blanchat,Electronic Resources Librarian at Queens College (CUNY), whose presentation slide decks are known to impress. Here’s Kelly’s take on the graphic above, which she created using Google Draw.

In general, I try to keep my library instruction sessions relevant to students. My personal love for emoji made it an obvious choice for this graphic, but wouldn’t it also be great to use around Halloween?
Using emojis as an example can lead into a conversation about Internet resources and techniques students already use — like social media — skills that can be then adapted for library research. A good example of such a technique is to connect the idea of hyperlinked hashtags (#) on Twitter and Facebook to subject terms in the library catalog and in databases. For example, I will show students Twitter Advanced Search, as well as a few hashtags that do and do not retrieve results. From these examples I’ll discuss need for synonyms and refining search structures in library resources. Essentially the theme is, “You already know this stuff, and can apply it to your scholarly work”.

We’re working on adding a copy of Kelly’s Google Draw file to¬†Librarian Design Share Google Drive, so until then, send Kelly an email or a tweet for the original.

Know Your Meme AND Boolean, too

Boolean Logic, honey badger styleInstruction librarians are no strangers to explaining Boolean operators. The trick is to never mention the words “Boolean operators” to students, lest their eyes begin to glaze over and drool begin trickling from the corners of their slightly open jaws. So we try everything we can to make it entertaining, from sit down/stand up exercises (e.g. “everyone wearing blue jeans AND glasses stay standing”) to amazingly hilarious images like the one above, created by Erica DeFrain from the Bailey/Howe Library at the University of Vermont.

I’m actually married to a graphic designer…but I think (I hope) the ugliness contributes to the humor of the whole thing. Talking about Boolean search logic can be a little challenging, especially in late-afternoon classes. I wanted to give a nod to a cultural phenomenon while also perhaps getting a laugh from those in the audience who know and love the infamous honey badger.

For the layered Pixlr file, email Erica DeFrain.

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