Making E-Reference Books Findable

By Ramaswamy, Mohan; Baillargeon, Tara et al. | Library Philosophy and Practice, March 2008 | Go to article overview

Making E-Reference Books Findable


Ramaswamy, Mohan, Baillargeon, Tara, Simser, Charlene N., Library Philosophy and Practice


Introduction

The Internet has evolved into the most used of all communication media. Increasing numbers of Americans use the Internet for research and communication (Pew, 2005). Accordingly, publishers and libraries increasingly make information available electronically via the Internet to users. A common example of such development is the electronic book, also known as an e-book. To read an e-book, the user needs a computer or a handheld display device.

E-books have the following advantages: they can be distributed globally via the Internet; they are cheap to publish and share; and they do not need storage space. Gall (2005) reported from a 2002 consumer survey on e-books that "67 percent of respondents wanted to read an e-book, and 62 percent wanted that access to be from a library." Peek (2005) reported that new technologies would support and enhance the use of e-books. For these reasons, many believe that e-books have the potential to replace traditional books in the future (Emke, 2005).

Even as e-book usage appears to be on the rise, there are reports about their limitations. Safley (2006) discusses that the acceptance of electronic publications depends on the immediacy of information need. For example, electronic reference books and journals provide an easy way to find quick answers for users, but users experience discomfort reading an entire electronic monograph. Thus the usage of electronic reference books is significantly high, but that of electronic monographs is substantially low in academic settings (Anuradha & Usha, 2006). Accordingly, academic libraries have been increasingly providing access to electronic reference books.

Like many academic libraries, Kansas State University (K-State) Libraries have provided access to a considerable number of e-books over the past several years. The e-book reference collection includes encyclopedias, directories, dictionaries, and so on. Vendors such as netLibrary, Dekker, Gale, and ABC-Clio offer electronic reference books as part of electronic book packages. Because reference e books are accessed electronically, K-State librarians refer to these books as e-Reference books or eReference resources.

Problem

Promoting e-Reference collections is an important issue for libraries. K-State Libraries has been acquiring an increasing number of e-books, including resources that were previously available only in print. K-State Libraries' e-Reference resources were going largely undiscovered because the titles were listed individually in the Libraries' Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) but were not visible on a shelf in the reference collection like their traditional print counterparts. User feedback received at reference services points indicated that although e-Reference titles could be found by searching the library's catalog, only skilled searchers had the ability to discover them and there was no easy method for browsing the Libraries' e-Reference collection. Reference librarians were adamant that the hidden eReference resources had to be brought to the limelight. K-State Libraries needed to find a way to make electronic reference books more accessible and visible to patrons.

Method

In the past, static lists of available reference books were created using HTML and published on the library's website. However, the idea of maintaining static HTML lists for e-Reference books was strongly rejected because creating and updating such lists would be cumbersome, inefficient, and time intensive. Therefore, K-State librarians decided to create a dynamic e-Reference web page to facilitate easy browsing of the collections.

Inspired by Steve Shadle's presentation at the 1999 Annual Conference of the North American Serials Interest Group, K-State librarians developed a dynamic search to pull e-Reference lists via the Voyager OPAC. Unlike the methodology employed at the University of Washington by Shadle and his colleagues, K-State Libraries' implementation does not require the use of programmers to create template-based web pages from sophisticated SQL queries. …

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

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.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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

Making E-Reference Books Findable
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?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access 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

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.