Long Live Books on Paper ... and Their Directories and Reviews on CD-ROM

By Jasco, Peter | Computers in Libraries, September 1995 | Go to article overview

Long Live Books on Paper ... and Their Directories and Reviews on CD-ROM


Jasco, Peter, Computers in Libraries


In the past few months I have been deluged with new CD-ROM products that will delight those who believe books still have a future and who want every patron to get his or her book of choice. While venerable reference publications for selecting books or identifying publishers may have recently taken a back seat among the hundreds of Internet guides, lists, and directories, they are likely to regain some respect as they appear (or reappear) on CD-ROM.

It's "in" these days to ask for a WWW address for a publisher or agency. Of course, both the currency and the quality of the source may be sorely lacking on the Internet. Likewise, you may be out of luck if you're looking on the Internet to find a comprehensive bibliography (say, a million items or so) of books in print or a well-organized and indexed collection of book reviews. Getting online information about out-of-print books is even more difficult.

But all is not lost. Academic and large public libraries and their patrons now have new CD-ROM options to access pertinent information from reliable sources faster than you can type http. I am a frequent user of all kinds of Internet services, but, for the specific information described above, I have a definite preference for CD-ROM resources. Particularly now. because, as I write this, Books in Print has not been updated for seven months on any of the online hosts, yet I keep getting the updated release on CD-ROM every month (along with superb new Windows-based retrieval software). Some of these CD-ROMs are brand new products while others are old wines in new bottles.

The Newcomers

UMI's Bookvault is a CD-ROM index to more than 130,000 out-of-print titles. This is not big news, you might say, because Bowker's or Whitaker's products for locating such titles have been in existence for many years on CD-ROM. The special twist of this database, however, is that you can not only locate such titles but also order an individual reprint from UMI's collection--literally just for you.

The database is accessed by Dataware Technologies' CD Answer software. It provides almost all the browsing, searching, and downloading possibilities you can dream of. The version I looked at is not the final release, and some features did not work, but by the time you read this, additional enhancements are promised to be in place. The disk can be used on Mac, DOS, and Windows platforms. For $99 it is a steal.

There is one feature that I'd like to see changed, which has to do with the short entry display format. While the long entry format can be changed by the user, the short format cannot, even though its excessively long order number is irrelevant in a brief citation (see Figure 1) and unnecessary until you are ready to place an order. In its place, the publication year and the price would be more important to know at first glance.

The Booklist CD-ROM, from SilverPlatter, includes about 23,000 print reviews of books, audio-visual materials, and CD-ROMs (yes!) that were published since September 1991. Another new CD-ROM is Choice Reviews from the Association of College and Research Libraries. It offers nearly 40,000 reviews from late 1988 to the present, mostly about books for academic libraries. Both databases use SilverPlatter's SPIRS software. Its Windows version is an almost perfect search engine, and its interface is topnotch. These CD-ROM versions are very welcome, notwithstanding the existence of their print-based brother publications with their regularly published, comprehensive, and cumulative indexes. The power and ease of search in the entire text of the reviews is impressive (except that with the lack of positional operators you cannot distinguish between information industry and industry information).

Having praised the search engine, however, I do have some criticisms of these products. If your instinct suggests using descriptors, think twice. In Choice Reviews, the 60 descriptors are rather broad for a specific search; in Booklist they are a bit outdated. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Long Live Books on Paper ... and Their Directories and Reviews on CD-ROM
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.