Creating Cyber Libraries: An Instructional Guide for School Library Media Specialists

Creating Cyber Libraries: An Instructional Guide for School Library Media Specialists

Creating Cyber Libraries: An Instructional Guide for School Library Media Specialists

Creating Cyber Libraries: An Instructional Guide for School Library Media Specialists

Synopsis

As prices of traditional library materials increase, and space to house them shrinks, savvy school library media specialists are creating cyber libraries, or school libraries on the Internet. These libraries offer students and their parents 24-hour access and are invaluable for providing up-to-date information in a way traditional materials cannot. This guide outlines the steps library media specialists can take to create a cyber library, provide content and policies for use, and maintain it for maximum efficiency.

Excerpt

Providing library services and programs through an Internet cyber library is a natural extension of the responsibilities of SLMSs. Our job entails meeting our users’ needs as much as possible and the Internet is an important source of information. the volume and flow of information on the Internet is a problem, however, because it increases our responsibilities and burdens. While we have more information available than ever before, our ability to search for it, organize it, and evaluate it is a constant challenge (Gorman 2001, 48).

For many years, SLMCs have been able to function successfully without a formal set of policies for accomplishing their goals and objectives concerning areas such as acquisitions, collection development, and copyright. the only policy that is considered mandatory is a controversial materials policy that most SLMSs keep on hand as a first-stage prophylactic device against a possible book banning. If SLMSs had the time to formulate some of the previous policies, it was a onetime task because no one, with the exception of the slms and a possible accreditation team member, ever had a need to refer to them.

Cyber libraries, however, present a different set of concerns that mandate a set of Web-accessible policies to focus collection development, facilitate their use, protect the privacy and confidentiality of students and faculty, and comply with recent copyright laws.

Legal and Ethical Concerns

Cyber libraries, unlike conventional SLMCs, are not only open when SLMSs are off duty but are also available to millions of users other than the school population. the electronic visibility of the programs and services of conventional SLMCs, particularly through our online catalogs and Web libraries,

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