ILS604-70 Advanced Reference
Pamela R. Dennis
March 13, 2003
Annotated Readings Unit 6
Tennant, Roy. Of Human and Humane Assistance. Library Journal 124 (June 15, 1999), 30+
There is concern that digital library service lacks the human touch. In an attempt to add this feature, the Library of Congress has suggested that a consortium of libraries might provide true 24/7 service, making use of chat, digital sound, and digital video. So far, technology does not seem to be a problem. The main difficulty would be in finding librarians throughout the world who could answer questions without becoming overwhelmed by requests. Pioneering projects include the Internet Public Library (University of Michigan) and Virtual Reference Desk (ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology). The University of California, Irvine Science Library, has experimented with videoconferencing, adding both video and sound. The article concludes with links to related articles. The author is Project Manager with the Digital Library Research & Development Department of The Library at University of California, Berkeley.
Marmion, Dan. Library Web Page Design: Are We Doing It Right? Information Technology and Libraries 20 (March 2001), 2.
Information for this article was sparked by a topic on the Web4Lib listserv. The author believes that library web pages should be organized by subjects as is Yahoo. He feels that librarians tend to organize everything as they would be in the library rather than how a remote user might search for them. On the Internet, we are just another business trying to be seen. We must pay attention to these other businesses if we want to be found among all the other information that is available. This author believes that we are not going about creating our library web pages correctly and hopes that we will recognize that fact and change our methods. The article would have been much stronger had he used examples of library and business sites that he felt were designing correct and incorrect pages. The reader is left to wonder about the specifics of what he means.
Coffta, Michael and David M. Schoen. Academic Library Web Sites as a Source of Interlibrary Loan Lending Information: A Survey of Four-and Five-Year Colleges and Universities. Library Resources & Technical Services 44 (October 2000), 196-201.
A survey was administered to 300 colleges and universities with web sites to determine what libraries offer information about interlibrary loans on their websites. While many state that they offer such services to their students and give directions for obtaining the information, they do not include information on whether they lend to other schools and what criteria are involved in borrowing these items. Also, the authors felt that borrowers should be able to determine from the web site what charges, loan lengths, and contact information were available.
Of the schools examined, 80% had web sites, and 62.9% had a link from the main page to the library web site. Only 3.3% of the surveyed libraries had ILL policy and procedures information relevant to ILL staff in other libraries. A little over half (53.3%) of the libraries provided the contact information for an ILL staff member, though phone number and email address were not always present. Seventy-five percent of the libraries had links to an online catalog, and 68.8% had searchable periodical titles and holdings within the catalog or as a separate page.
Thus, the authors found that it is easy for the patron to determine what holdings the library has. However, information about ILL lending policies is much scarcer. Recommendations are that libraries include information on what materials the library is willing to lend and under what circumstances, what media may not be loaned (such as videos), and charges associated with the ILL service. While this information is included in OCLCs NAD, not all libraries use OCLC, and that information may not be available to the ILL librarian who might be working at the reference desk at the time of a question.