Magazine article Information Today

Internet Public Library Milestones

Magazine article Information Today

Internet Public Library Milestones

Article excerpt

The Facebook post about a "100,000th milestone update" caught my eye: "We're getting close! As of February 21, 2011, ipl2 has answered 99,131 questions." I had forgotten that ipl2 answered questions in addition to providing trusted directories of content. I checked on the current status of ipl2 (www.ipl2.org). By the time you read this, ipl2 will likely have reached its milestone. And there's another milestone: March 17, 2011, marked the 16th anniversary of the Internet Public Library (IPL).

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First, let's review the history. In January 2010, the website ipl2: Information You Can Trust was launched, merging the resource collections from the IPL and the Librarians' Internet Index (LII) websites--two of the best-known directories of reliable information resources. The site is hosted by the iSchool at Drexel University, and a consortium of colleges and universities with programs in information science are involved in developing and maintaining the ipl2. The site, which receives major support from the College of Information at Florida State University, is sponsored by Intel and Sun Microsystems.

ipl2 is a public service organization and a learning/teaching environment. To date, thousands of students and volunteer library and information science professionals have been involved in answering reference questions for its Ask an ipl2 Librarian service and in designing, building, creating, and maintaining the ipl2's collections. Part of its mission is to support and enhance library services through the provision of authoritative collections, information assistance, and information instruction for the public. ipl2's goal for selection is to maintain a balanced and broadly representative collection of websites for information, reference, and research.

The homepage has a clean design: There is a simple search box top and center, a button at the top right to ask a question (using a question form with answers via email), and five graphic boxes representing the digital collections. …

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