Search features and details

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aebrown
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Search features and details

Postby aebrown » Sat Jun 28, 2008 8:29 pm

kristacook wrote:... I'd also like to know if Preach My Gospel is one of the resources searched under the "Search Gospel Library" feature. There does not appear to be an html version online yet and there isn't even a complete PDF so I'm wondering if the only way to search it is chapter by chapter in the PDF's if I want to do a keyword search online....

(Note: My Branch President has given every member a copy of Preach My Gospel and a copy of the complete Preach My Gospel DVD's that accompany it.)


Preach My Gospel is indeed available online in a complete PDF. The PDF is searchable using the normal PDF search in your PDF reader. The complete PDF can be found in the Gospel Library at http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,8057-1-4424-1,00.html. From the Gospel Library home page, there is a paragraph and link on the home page, as well as a shortcut on the right side of the page.

It is a good question, however, why the Search feature does not seem to find the Preach My Gospel page. I can understand why the text itself might not be searchable, since it is not in HTML format, but rather PDF. But it certainly seems that a search for "Preach My Gospel" (which yields 153 hits when quoted) would find the page I linked to above. It doesn't.

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Support Materials

Postby aebrown » Sat Jun 28, 2008 8:44 pm

kristacook wrote:What resources are included under the "Support Materials" on the Gospel Library Search feature? I have no idea what is being searched because there does not appear to be any information on what "Support Materials" includes. I can't focus any search without knowing this.


From the main Gospel Library Page you can go to the Support Materials Page by using the link on the left side. On the Support Materials Page you can see the varioius subcategories; each of those subcategory pages shows the materials on those pages. So browsing the Support Materials area should give you a good idea of the kinds of materials featured there, in case you want to filter a search to focus on results from the Support Materials.

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Postby aebrown » Sat Jun 28, 2008 9:00 pm

kristacook wrote:I know the Handbook isn't online – at least not an official up-to-date version on lds.org. . .

Fragments of the Handbook are online and available to ordinary people from the Church Distribution Center. I know this because I have the portion that deals with Relief Society. There does not appear to be any way to search the fragments using the Gospel Library Search feature online. Is there, or have I missed something?

There doesn't seem to be any place to identify what fragments of the Handbook exist online or am I missing something? Wouldn't this be a useful feature on lds.org? I think it would be.


The fragments of the Handbook that are available to ordinary people are excerpts from Book 2. There are very few fragments of Book 1 (for Bishops and Stake Presidents) available online, and I doubt that this will change. That information is more sensitive and is needed by a much smaller audience, so in my opinion it is wise to keep its distribution tightly controlled.

As for the excerpts from Book 2, I'm not sure what fragments are actually available online. They can be ordered online at ldscatalog.com (for example, the Relief Society handbook section), but I can't find the actual text anywhere on lds.org. If that is true, that explains why they aren't searchable. The Gospel Library search can only search pages that are actually in the Gospel Library.

If somehow the Handbook fragments are available online, they are hidden very well. You seemed quite definitive in saying that portions were available online. Could you please provide a link to one or more of these fragments?

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Postby lajackson » Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:37 am

kristacook wrote:I know the Handbook isn't online ...


That is correct.

Fragments of the Handbook are online and available to ordinary people from the Church Distribution Center. I know this because I have the portion that deals with Relief Society. There does not appear to be any way to search the fragments using the Gospel Library Search feature online. Is there, or have I missed something?


Although parts of Handbook 2 (the Relief Society section you mentioned, the Gospel Teaching and Leadership section, and some others) are available through the Distribution Center, they are not online and are not part of the Gospel Library Search feature online.

The Church has issued a series of Guidebooks, many intended for branches. These are online and are part of the Gospel Library Search feature.

There doesn't seem to be any place to identify what fragments of the Handbook exist online or am I missing something? Wouldn't this be a useful feature on lds.org? I think it would be.


Nothing from the Church Handbook of Instructions (CHI) Book 1 or 2 is available online at lds.org. Almost everything else is available.

What resources are included under the "Support Materials" on the Gospel Library Search feature? I have no idea what is being searched because there does not appear to be any information on what "Support Materials" includes. I can't focus any search without knowing this.


Here is a partial list:

Branch Guidebook
Priesthood and Auxiliary Leaders' Guidebook
Guidebook for Parents of Leaders and Youth
A Parent's Guide
Family Guidebook

Teaching Guidebook
Improving Gospel Teaching: A Leader's Guide
Teaching, No Greater Call: ...

The Latter-day Saint Woman: Basic Manual for Women, Parts A and B
Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood: Basic Manual for Priesthood Holders, Parts A and B
Information for Priesthood and Auxiliary Leaders on Curriculum: 2005 through 2008

Family Home Evening Resource Book
Gospel Art Picture Kit
Young Women Personal Progress: ...

Gospel Principles
True to the Faith
The Family: A Proclamation to the World
Old Testament Stories
New Testament Stories
Book of Mormon Stories
Doctrine and Covenants Stories

Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Children's Songbook ...
The Primary Sharing Time and Children's Sacrament Meeting program guides

I'd also like to know if Preach My Gospel is one of the resources searched under the "Search Gospel Library" feature. There does not appear to be an html version online yet and there isn't even a complete PDF


The 244 page pdf version of Preach My Gospel at lds.org appears to be complete and is searchable. I do not believe it is included yet in the Gospel Library Search feature.

I hope this answers some of your questions. I did not know the answer to most of them, but a few minutes at lds.org solved the puzzle.

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Postby kristacook-p40 » Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:37 am

Thanks! I've been heavily accessing the Compressed Audio Files and assumed http://lds.org/library/display/0,4945,8057-1-4424-1,00.html was the only access. It lists the separate chapter PDF's but not the complete version of the text in one file except as a downloadable zip file -- in addition to the MP3 files of course.

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But this makes me nervous . . .

Postby kristacook-p40 » Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:43 am

Alan_Brown wrote:From the main Gospel Library Page you can go to the Support Materials Page by using the link on the left side. On the Support Materials Page you can see the varioius subcategories; each of those subcategory pages shows the materials on those pages. So browsing the Support Materials area should give you a good idea of the kinds of materials featured there, in case you want to filter a search to focus on results from the Support Materials.


In most library databases there are help pages (Which librarians use extensively causing people to assume they are brilliant researchers) including a "list of resources" contained in the databases. I can make an inference that the Support Materials Page is probably what the Search Gospel Library function does under "Support Materials" but I like to be certain. I emphasize Reference Work in my studies so retrieval and access issues are crucial.

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Handbook Fragments

Postby kristacook-p40 » Sun Jun 29, 2008 9:05 am

Alan_Brown wrote:
If somehow the Handbook fragments are available online, they are hidden very well. You seemed quite definitive in saying that portions were available online. Could you please provide a link to one or more of these fragments?


One that leaps to mind is the one I found yesterday while reviewing the 2007 Worldwide Leadership Training:

"Leaders' Responsibilities

Leaders have a responsibility to teach, whether they are in councils or interviews or worship services. They also have a responsibility to ensure that teacher development and effective gospel learning are ongoing in the lives of members.

To that end, the First Presidency issued a letter dated November 17, 2006, discontinuing the positions of ward and stake teacher improvement coordinators. Accompanying the letter was a list of "Leaders' Responsibilities for Teacher Improvement." We trust that with the principles taught in this broadcast, together with the suggestions and resources stated in the letter, priesthood and auxiliary leaders will counsel together to improve gospel teaching and learning. It should not be necessary to hold special meetings for teacher improvement other than in your councils and interviews from time to time as needed."

This is from Boyd K. Packer at http://lds.org/library/display/0,4945,7492-1-4036-2,00.html#1. I am assuming that given it is an obvious policy/procedure/guideline it is now part of the Handbook although it did originate in a letter. I don't have any way of knowing if this was one of the letters read in Sacrament Meeting or not. "Home, Family, and Personal Enrichment" http://www.lds.org/pa/display/0,17884,4690-1,00.html is another obvious example. My copy of the Relief Society Handbook still has all the old Homemaking material in it but this material supersedes it.

Obviously, the entire Handbook should not be available online to everyone for the reasons you mention, but a great deal of it does apply to ordinary members. I was sick on a recent Sunday, my husband told me an official letter was read in Sacrament Meeting instructing members not to use visual aids in Sacrament talks or ask the congregation to look up scriptures during a Sacrament talk. My husband is very reliable but I would like to read the official letter or at least be able to look up the specific wording. This guidance is aimed directly at members.

Library examples that come to mind are the "List of Sections Affected" in the Code of Federal Regulations or pocketpart supplements to legal texts. When things are fluid and changing constantly, like most administrative materials, a quick reference area to make certain you are up-to-date can be crucial in doing an accurate search.

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Postby aebrown » Sun Jun 29, 2008 9:27 am

kristacook wrote:Thanks! I've been heavily accessing the Compressed Audio Files and assumed http://lds.org/library/display/0,4945,8057-1-4424-1,00.html was the only access. It lists the separate chapter PDF's but not the complete version of the text in one file except as a downloadable zip file -- in addition to the MP3 files of course.


Perhaps it isn't as obvious as it should be, but the complete PDF (one PDF file containing all 244 pages of the manual) is indeed available on that page near the very top. You get to the complete PDF by clicking on the appropriate language link -- the complete PDF is not in the table below.

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Other search questions . . .

Postby kristacook-p40 » Sun Jun 29, 2008 9:47 am

A big thanks to Alan for addressing most of my questions. I've got more.

1. My question about search terms is still on my mind. Most library databases and materials will either tell you if it uses a "controlled vocabulary" or not and provide it if it does. I can't determine if the Church materials do. There are no "help pages" in the Church's search interface that answer this quesion.

2. The Gospel Library search interface has changed over the years. I specifically remember "proximity searching" being available at one time. It no longer is. I found this feature to be extremely useful for difficult, targeted searches. Other useful standard search techniques that are missing include boolean terms. Google and others have integrated a simple boolean search interface into its Advanced Search feature that is useful for serious searchers but simple enough for ordinary people. How about wildcards and truncation?

3. It does not appear that pictures (or picture captions) are indexed or am I missing something? The only way to search pictures seems to be a "Search Gospel Library" for a general topic and then look up the result in PDF's to see if a particular picture is included somewhere in the article.

This was critical to me in one of my wards because I had to do the bulletin. My ward did not use stationary so I had to select a picture and quote for the cover. After a couple of weeks, my Bishop stipulated that he wanted the Savior on each bulletin cover but I could continue to tailer the quote to the theme chosen for the meeting. Well, you can imagine that I used up all the pictures in the Gospel Art Picture Kit pretty fast. I had to learn how to copy pictures from the church magazine PDF's and manipulate them so I could place them on the cover. Another crucial component of that was determining if I could use the picture at all given copyright laws and other restrictions. (I got very familiar with the fine print.) I was desperate for a picture index especially one that indexed according to topic and not just picture title and artist. Any picture index or picture search feature forthcoming on lds.org?

4. I'd also like to be able to search scriptures specifically -- I mean ones quoted in materials like Sunday School Manuals and church magazines. I've tried to manipulate the "Search Gospel Library" to do what I want but I don't have much confidence in my searches given the limitations of the search interface. Some church materials use abbreviated scriptures like 2 Ne for 2 Nephi. I'm also concerned about whether my searches can access things like 2 Nephi, chapter 5 verse 4 if the quote is listed as 2 Nephi 5:1-6 in the materials. A sensitive scripture search feature would be much appreciated on lds.org -- something like http://scriptures.byu.edu/ which is marvelous, but where it searches other materials besides Conference addresses.

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Postby aebrown » Sun Jun 29, 2008 11:38 am

kristacook wrote:"To that end, the First Presidency issued a letter dated November 17, 2006, discontinuing the positions of ward and stake teacher improvement coordinators. Accompanying the letter was a list of "Leaders' Responsibilities for Teacher Improvement." We trust that with the principles taught in this broadcast, together with the suggestions and resources stated in the letter, priesthood and auxiliary leaders will counsel together to improve gospel teaching and learning. It should not be necessary to hold special meetings for teacher improvement other than in your councils and interviews from time to time as needed."

This is from Boyd K. Packer at http://lds.org/library/display/0,4945,7492-1-4036-2,00.html#1. I am assuming that given it is an obvious policy/procedure/guideline it is now part of the Handbook although it did originate in a letter. I don't have any way of knowing if this was one of the letters read in Sacrament Meeting or not.


Well, this is not really an example of any portion of the Handbook being available online. Rather, it is a reference to a letter (and not the letter itself) that was sent to bishops and stake presidents (and was not read in sacrament meetings), and which covers material that will almost certainly be in the Handbook, Book 2, when the new Book 2 comes out.

I think this question is heading towards the question of how much of the Handbook is available online, which (as has been previously mentioned) is not the province of this forum. There are many reference to the Handbook throughout the Church's public websites, but that does not mean that the Handbook or even an index to the Handbook will ever be online.


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