Saturday, July 30, 2005

Writer Says Library Databases Are Useful, But Hard to Find

Check out the positive article on using the library's online databases, "Google Isn't Everything" by Stephen Manes on

Manes warns of the most common complaint with library databases:

"None of these databases is perfect, since most were initially designed for trained librarians rather than mere flailing mortals, so the user interfaces can be daunting until you get the hang of them."

Manes also calls for libraries to do a better job of promoting their online resources:

My biggest complaint is that some libraries' Web sites don't detail the amazing range of services they offer online until you cough up a card number. Memo to those insular institutions: Put the info in the shop windows out front and I bet you'll see a lot more card-carrying customers walking through the electronic doors.

This isn't the first time we've heard this (see advice from Gary Price in this article) and it won't be the last. Even if you have a link on your home page about your library's electronic resources, you still need to repeat your promotional messages seven times for users to start noticing. [Thanks to ResourceShelf for the tip]

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