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Where Do You Get Your Information?


A recent conversation with a patron at the Battery Park City Library reminded me of one of my past blog posts in which I pondered the time-saving methods and ideas of Mevil Dewey. I'll have you know that since that post I have implemented none of Dewey's radical ideas. Interestingly enough though, a few of my colleagues do use his methods by spelling my last name "Parrot" instead of "Parrott." Though I personally have not yet benefited from Dewey's time saving techniques, many of my colleagues have, so bravo to the continued productivity! Upward and onward!

But I digress.

The patron's question:  Is there a resource where you can look up an individual and it will show three websites that were favorites of that individual?  The patron was interested in big ideas from big thinkers. I explained that we could certainly start with some big thinkers she was interested in and then perhaps see if they had a website or blog, and with any luck they would have a list of links, which one would assume, were links they chose, making them some of their favorites. My patron had thought of that but said those lists of links were usually too long. She wanted concise. She wanted short. She wanted to save time. She was interested in maximizing the time of her online experience.

It is perhaps a play on the "If stranded on a desert island..." question posed to readers. If stranded on a desert island (that had Internet, of course) and you could only visit three websites, which would they be?

The idea would be to perhaps find sites that cover everything: philosophy, politics, social issues, news, entertainment, gossip. You could follow big thinkers and big idea people on Twitter, so that you could visit one site and receive information you are interested in from a variety of different sources. Tweeting, though, is not for everyone. One site for information might make life easier and save time (Dewey!) but individuals have preferences in the way they consume information. Some like the option of an all-you-can-eat buffet table of information. Others prefer minimal and manageable portions.

When you wake up in the morning and turn on (or open, or wake up) your computer (or tablet, netbook, or phone) is there a website you always check first? Are you a local issues person? World news? Neighborhood? Do you first check Facebook to see what your friends had for breakfast before diving into deep issues? Are you on Team TED or Team Jezebel? What websites would Dewey visit? What websites do you visit?

For quality suggestions, you can always check NYPL's Best of the Web. For those who don't like long lists, I'm hoping that the responses left below will offer a concise selection of big thinking and big idea websites!

Lastly, on the note of big thinkers and big ideas, be sure to follow The New York Public Library and The Floating University’s "Great Big Ideas" video lecture series!


Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.

Five books and an interview

Five books and an interview from an expert in the topic: But, like, for the internet? I always try to read the Morning News headlines, and it does a pretty good job of covering the topics you describe ("philosophy, politics, social issues, news, entertainment, gossip.") Also,

one-stop-shop for information is another great one!

Arts & Letters Daily

It's not exactly a quick round-up of the latest news, but if I were on a desert island with WIFI, I'd want to connect to for the great links to writing from "big thinkers". Thanks for sharing these sites! I think I'll be adding to my short list and looking for book recommendations on the Five Books page. is an is an excellent source of thoughtful articles on philosophy, politics, science, and culture. it also features beautiful poetry.

Thanks for the

Thanks for the recommendation!

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