Frustrating Search

    Nancy: This could be subtitled 'Trapped in the Web.' I read about a new site that was to appear on the Minnesota Webpage on jobs in adult basic education. I checked the Minnesota Webpage and could not find this. There was much other useful information on this site so I spent about 30 minutes checking it out.

    Then I decided to use Infoseek and typed in 'adult literacy jobs.' This came up with 0 hits. Then I tried 'adult literacy teaching positions.' This came up with 3,218,878 pages. None in the first 100 hits were related to adult literacy jobs. I tried Yahoo. No hits.

    I decided to use symbols I was taught to control the search (=) and ('). I started again with Yahoo and tried 'adult literacy + jobs.' I tried variations with 'jobs,' 'job search,' 'positions.' No matter the variations, I got either no hits or the same 64 general adult literacy sites listing major adult literacy organizations. This took over 30 minutes.

    I returned to Infoseek and tried these new variations. All variations provided many hits but none related to adult literacy positions. I tried adult basic education and teaching positions. -- this got 2,561,158 sites. I clicked on the first site and got a "Do you want to retire?" message. I did, but continued to scan these pages and found a site on jobs, but all were in foreign countries, colleges or high schools. All this took more than 90 minutes.

    I called my local university library and asked for guidance on search terms. They suggested several. I combined the use of symbols and terms and tried 'adult basic education + teaching positions.' This gave five pages and relevant sites. I scanned these. There were articles on job qualifications and the 1998-99 Occupations Outlook Handbook -- with a promising discussion of employment in adult education. No job listings but a good suggestion -- for jobs, contact your state department adult education person. This took about 40 minutes.

    Our state is connected to a regional center. I phoned my Regional Adult Literacy Resource Center. They said they had -- on their site -- two job listings. This was a start. They suggested I call Minnesota. I called the information number on the Minnesota site and left my request on voice mail. They called back with the Web address I needed and I found two other job listings. This took 10 minutes.

    What is the moral of this story? Not everything is best found on the Web (and aren't you glad it trapped me and not you?). And ...well, return to the article and read the guidelines. One more caveat, I redid this search to confirm the numbers and some had changed -- the Internet is always changing.

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