Ref Type: Journal Article
Title: Virtual librarians, real research
Publication Full: eGov Magazine
Year: 2000 Volume: NULL Issue: NULL
Start Page: NULL Other Pages: NULL
Libraries turn to the Internet to distribute their most valuable resource: librarians.
Researchers may never have to visit their local libraries again. Just as Web contact centers have revolutionized business by making customer-support services available online, a group of libraries in southern California is offering Web access to a pool of librarians and subject experts. Already in the pilot phase, the online reference library is showing a stunning reduction in cost per enquiry. Not surprisingly, libraries across the country and as far away as Israel are interested.
Research has always been a time-consuming affair. Finding the right references often takes as much time as the research itself. The World Wide Web, with its profusion of reference services, held out the promise of instantaneous access to a global network of information. The problem was that one had to rely on clunky search engines to navigate a course through this sea of information, so serious researchers still found it more efficient to use the services of librarians in tracking down obscure references.
Libraries have generally been quick to adopt new technologies. Even before the advent of the Web, the Library of Congress and several university libraries set up "gopher" sites that organized Internet resources by subject. These gopher sites later became Web sites and, though useful, they lacked the immediacy and interactivity of the library reference desks. Public libraries then offered e-mail services, allowing researchers to request information not available on the library Web site. Some libraries experimented with chat programs like NetMeeting and CuCme, which, though they provide live one-on-one interaction, do not scale for the Web.
Extra Data: NULL
Retrieved Date:January 1, 1970
Book Title: NULL
Series Title: NULL
Place Of Publication: NULL
Issn Isbn: NULL