In Other News: The Top Searched Terms of 2014

A look at a current news item through the lens of different titles available on GVRL. 

By Michelle Eickmeyer

Well, it’s that time of year again! Ugly sweaters, potentially awkward work/social events (not mine – mine was hilarious) and year end lists! So let’s take a break from the news and take a look at ourselves — and what “you” have been up to this year. We’re going to take a look at the top search terms within GVRL!

Energy, psychology, Encyclopedia of Religion, agglomeration, improving communication skills. University students around the globe searched for some interesting things this year. In the U.S. and Canada, energy reigned supreme, while in Brazil, pscychology was king. The UK found most students looking for the Encyclopedia of Religion (in fact, their 8th search was for the same title, but with the “ae” spelling), and improving communication skills was most important to students in the Philippians. Australian students had everything covered with agglomeration.

But what were the top 5 searched terms in GVRL at academic libraries in 2014? The results are mixed, showing the depth and variety of relevant subjects.

  1. Energy
  2. Web
  3. Care
  4. Gun Control
  5. Business

Public libraries in the U.S. and Canada performed searches on cancer more than any other term. Most interestingly, “Lord of the Flies” had the highest hits in school searches (though, technically, The Great Gatsby was the most searched as variants of the title hold the 4th and 5th spots).

Click to see the complete list of the Top 25 Search terms for Academic, Public and K12 School Libraries in the U.S. and Canada. (If you’re interested in seeing the results from other countries, please let me know in the comments!).

Here is a title looking at each of the top 5 titles among Academic libraries in the U.S. and Canada in 2014:

Ethics, Science, Technology and Engineering: A Global Resource, 2nd Edition. Macmillan Reference USA, 2015.

There is nothing so fundamental in the creation of energy as the creation of life. When Mary Shelley completed writing Frankenstein, attributed as the first work of science fiction, she took the idea of creating life to an entirely new level. The energy used to create a person literally translated into energy created by a person. Get an in-depth look in the complicated and surprising story of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley in this new title.

The New Faces of American Poverty: A Reference Guide to the Great Recession, 1st Edition. ABC-CLIO, 2014.

Team work makes the dream work. Though not a new theme, using the internet was the highlight of many big wins this year (see example). But, in this holiday season, what other ways are there to contribute to the better of the less privileged? You can contribute to the crowd-funding of a movie, some stranger’s new boat, or the dream vacation of some college student being left behind on spring break. But you can also buy a family in a poor area a small flock of chickens (here), provide technology and distraction to a child with cancer (here) or support the dream of a would-be small business owner around the world (here). Through the Small Business Association, prospective owners can request up to $50,000 to micro-finance their dream here in the U.S, but there are plenty of other ways to achieve the dream. Learn more about them here.

Cuba, 1st Edition. Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2011.

One of the most difficult parts of writing this blog every week is deciding on what to write it about. Inevitably, as soon as I choose a topic, something spectacular happens. And this week was no different — Cuba happened, and I was not expecting it. Primary in the reasons the U.S. began an embargo with Cuba in 1960, a country which was at one point in time a U.S. territory, was its handling of human rights issues. So where does Cuban healthcare stand now, and what is the future of medicine and illness in Cuba? In order to look forward, you must look back.This exciting title will surely have what you are looking for.

Domestic Terrorism, 1st Edition. Lucent Books, 2014.

Nothing is scarier than being scared. Well, being scared when you should be feeling safe, that’s scarier. Like when you want to go see a funny movie over the holiday break … and someone threatens to harm anyone who does. Or when you’re cheering on friends at a race and two bombs go off. Take a look into this uncomfortable phenomenon with this title.

Corporate Disasters: What Went Wrong and Why, 1st Edition. Gale, 2012.

Ok, let’s just be honest here. Not every company is formed on a good idea, sound principles, and a sustainable market. That’s just the way it is. But sometimes when things go wrong, they go very, very wrong. Remember when Apple fired Steve Jobs? Remember when everyone stopped buying  SUV’s and the government bought 2 of the big 3 American manufacturers because they were “too big to fail” (while they were, clearly, failing)? Whether it’s bookstores who would rather keep their store than sell more books or ponzi schemes running amok under the noses of people who should have known better, you can read all about business failures in history. Some epic, some not so much. All noteworthy.



photoAbout the Author

Michelle is an “anytime!” traveler and language enthusiast. She has degrees in talking from Central Michigan and Michigan State University. She is currently becoming a runner and used to play golf in high school.



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