By Rosen, Linda
Information Today , Vol. 10, No. 6
If you would like your library to have access to hundreds of popular, business, and general interest magazines in full text, but don't want to spend time changing disks at the CD-ROM workstation, then Magazine Article Summaries Full Text Elite CD-ROM may be the choice for you. EBSCO has created an easy-to-use, affordable CD-ROM product that will appeal to many small-and medium-sized libraries that would like to bring more full-text information to their users. In addition to the Magazine Articles Summaries Full Text Elite CD-ROM, EBSCO has a full line of CD-ROM products, with both full-text and citation information, that could easily round out an academic or public library's collection.
Magazine Article Summaries Full Text Elite CD-ROM provides access to magazine article citations and summaries from over 350 general interest magazines, including the New York Times, full-text articles from 90 publications, and the full text of Magill Book Reviews. Magazine Article Summaries Full Text Elite CD-ROM is only one of 10 products in EBSCO's line of Reference Desk CD-ROMs. Reference Desk CD-ROM is a family of search and retrieval software products that provides easy access to magazine article citations and Magill Book Reviews. Many of the products contain full-text articles. The Reference Desk software provides a user-friendly and powerful environment for searchers of all levels.
Tailoring for Your Library
The Reference Desk line of products can also be customized or "tailored" to the specific needs of the library. The features for tailoring the system include: setting up defaults and user security; setting up a list of suppliers for interlibrary loans; creating a list of local title holdings; and selecting display and usage statistics. The tailoring options are clearly described in the Reference Manual and the on-screen instructions are very easy to follow. From a selection of screen colors to printer device selection, the Reference Desk tailoring features are readily changeable. Anyone with a basic working knowledge of CD-ROMs and computers can tailor the system quite easily. The wide variety and level of system customization available in the Reference Desk line of products is ideal for a public or school library where many users will be accessing the machine. The statistics portion of the product can help the library maintain usage data as well as statistics on local title usage. This data can be effectively used to justify budgets, review the collection for development purposes, and to better understand the user population and its needs.
Searching with the Query Profile
Using this affordable search tool, you can find specific words or phrases, browse a list of subjects that categorize the summaries in the database, and print or copy search results. By using the concept of a Query Profile, the user is able to see clearly the way that their search terms will be combined. This is a neat way of explaining the Boolean search logic without confusing or overwhelming the user. Searchers can choose from a comprehensive list of all of the subject headings used for each citation in the database. This offers an easy way to limit the search criteria while not missing an important term.
There are six levels of access, described as "menu sets," in the Reference Desk CD-ROM line of products. They range from access to basic system functions to providing access to entire system functions, including maintenance, security, and system defaults. Menu set two (accessed by typing "2" at the logon screen) provides expert searching features. This includes the ability to search date ranges, sources, and to use previous queries with a current search. Using this menu set gives the user considerably more search options and a powerful search tool. At the same time, the expert search mode should not be intimidating to a user who has successfully used the basic menu set. …