Monday, October 31, 2011

Electronic resources

Definition of electronic resource
An electronic resource is a manifestation of a work encoded for manipulation by computer. The manifestion resides in a carrier accessed either directly or remotely. Some electronic resources may require of a peripheral device attached to a computer (for example, a CD-ROM player). This definition does not include electronic resources that do not require the use of a computer, for example, music compact discs and videodiscs.

Cataloguing Electronic Resources: OCLC-MARC Coding Guidelines. 6 Dec. 2001. 25 Mar. 2002.

An updated definition is available on the OCLC Website at

Type of electronic materials
  • Full-text
  • Music
  • Numeric databases
    o Statistics
  • Reference materials
    o Bibliographies
    o Indexes
    o Abstracts
    o Tables of contents
    o Almanacs
    o Encyclopedias
  • Software
  • Licensing
    o # of users allowed at one time
    o Remote access
    o ILL or sharing allowed?
  • Selection criteria applicable to electronic format
    o Ease of use
    o Searching capability
    o Operating system platform
    o System hardware requirements
    o Ease of downloading
    * Emailing
    o Printing capabilities
    * Downloading
    o Access
    * Full MARC cataloguing, links on library Web site, etc.
    o Selection when same “title” available in various formats and versions
    o Access vs ownership
    * Who is able to use the database?
    * Must subscribe to gain access.
    o Preservation (will it always be there?
    * There may not be paper copies of all electronic resources.
    o Duplication/overlap between print and electronic resources
    * Do you want both?
    * Weigh pros and cons
    o Technical concerns
    * Staff/patron training
    * Technical support
    * Ease of installation
    * Compatibility with existing hardware/software
  • May not be able to upgrade easily
    * Availiability/reliability of telecommunications, servers, etc. for materials accessed remotely
    * Viruses
Web sites
Auer, Nicole J. “Bibliography on Evaluating Internet Resources.” 20 Aug. 2001. 26 Mar. 2002. Contains link to interactive module on evaluating Internet resources.

Selection tools
American Library Association, Association of College & Research Libraries. C&RL NewsNet: Internet Reviews Archive. 14 Feb. 2002. 26 Mar. 2002.
Contains reviews of Internet resources written by librarians.

AcqWeb. Online Information Vendors and Electronic Publishers. 26 Mar. 2002.
Choice. Reviews Web publications.

Published every Friday both on the web and by email. It provides a way to stay informed of valuable resources on the Internet. Professional librarians and subject matter experts select, research, and annotate each resource. From University of Wisconsin.
Nonprint selection criteria
  • Formal instruction
    o How will it be used?
  • Recreational use
    o Buy, not show in group, show at home nit pick, rent a movie show at home to friend
  • Audience (adults, children, all ages)
  • Circulate/in house
  • Member resource sharing network
This is especially true for the more traditional nonprint, audio and visual. When going to acquire a book (shop, jobber, online) , get a discount for a wide variety of selection. There is a much easier paper trail. Must preview videos for their suitability before presenting. Chapters sell CDs and videos, a few educational, more commercially; few bookstores sell many AV materials. Go to distributor – they are just selling the product, not making it. Ask for a preview before committing to buy, check the suitability. Non-print materials aren’t as widely reviewed as print materials. Also rent videos if they won’t widely be used for a period of time.
  • Primary purpose?
    o Entertainment
    o Educational
  • Length appropriate?
  • Topic of long term interest?
    o Will it be here today, gone tomorrow?
  • Material well organized?
  • Story line easy to follow?
  • Popularization accurate?
  • Copyright date?
    o Tends to be longer than on books.
  • Will visuals or audio date quickly?
    o Visuals impact audience. It needs to look current to appeal.
  • Multiple uses?
  • Visuals necessary?
  • Visuals in proper focus, composition effective, shots appropriate?
  • Skillfully edited?
  • Does background audio contribute to overall impact?
  • Good synchronization of visuals and audio?
  • How may format be used?
    o Small/large groups, both?
    o Darkened/semi lightened/fully lighted room?
  • Best format for producer’s stated purpose?
    o How to needs to be repetitive
  • Least expensive format of those appropriate for content?
  • Will format stand up to amount and type of anticipated use?
  • If damaged, is repair possible or purchase of replacement required?
  • Maintenance required?
  • What are equipment requirements?
Sources of reference
Evan, G. Edward, and Margaret R. Zarnosky. Developing Library and Information Center Collections. 4th ed. Englewood, Colo.: Libraries Unlimited, 2000. (Z 687 E918 1999)
Gregory, Vicki L. Selecting and Managing Electronic Resources. New York: Neal-Schuman, 2000. (Z 692 G74 2000).

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