The Las Vegas Clark County Library District staff blogged last month about their experience with a federated search application for kids. The library has a deployment of WebFeat with kid-friendly sources. The blog article explains that their first deployment didn’t appeal to teens (they preferred the adult WebFeat site) or to the elementary school students (they were overwhelmed with the number and subjects of the databases.)

They’re experimenting with a version for the younger kids.

So we decide to focus on just elementary school students. By reducing the number of databases to just the databases for this age group it would limit the number of databases. Also by removing our teen audience subjects it makes it less overwhelming. Taking Tina’s database suggestions we came up with a very basic list of databases, easy for elementary age children to use.

The current deployment is at this link. You can see the search page but searches don’t return results, presumably because search is limited to library patrons. Sources include encyclopedias, dictionaries, newspapers, magazines, and other kid-friendly sites.

This is the first time I’ve heard of a federated search engine just for kids. There are plenty of kid-oriented search engines with pre-screened content. But, federated search for kids?

Do any of you know of other deployments? I’d love to learn about others and write about out how they’ve been received by the kids.

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This entry was posted on Monday, May 11th, 2009 at 3:57 pm and is filed under viewpoints. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or TrackBack URI from your own site.

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