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ILS 504 – 01 Reference and Information Resources and Services

Exercise 5: Evaluation for Selection of Reference Resources

November 17, 2008

 

The following is an analysis and evaluation of two print and two web-based resources typically found in a public library’s reference collection that serves a municipality with a population of 12,000.

 

Print Source 1

The New Encyclopedia Britannica – Macropaedia Ready Reference 15th Edition. 1995. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.: Chicago, IL.

Scope

1768 to the present. $1,272.94

Arrangement

32 volume set includes tens of thousands of short articles on specific subjects.

Special Features

Volumes 1-12. Micropaedia. Vols. 13-29. Macropaedia. Vol. 30. Propaedia. Vols. 31-32. Index. Alphabetization from A to Z, Entry Arrangement with substantive work first, i.e. Bengal, Bay of. Cross-references to lead the reader to alternate names for the subject matter, articles in greater length or depth or other relevant articles, Abbreviation, and Territorial boundaries.

Coverage

An unbiased information resource can be used as a stand-alone source or in support of other research. The Index supports Microcpaedia and the Propaedia lists suggested readings. Suitable for advanced high-school students, college students, and educated adults.

Latest Edition

2007

Limitations

It is English Language only. The Britannica Book of the Year is considered an integral part of the set and is included for first-time purchasers. Britannica requires shelf space (Baker, 1995).

Other Formats

It can be found Online http://www.britannica.com/. There are Student, Elementary and Concise versions as well as CD-ROM/DVD.

Frequency of Publication/Update

Text / between 35 and 40 percent of the encyclopedia's material is revised every two years, so libraries may need to weigh that against the high price tag (Baker, 1995). Online / every 20 minutes (Cohen, 2008).

Print Source 2

Physicians’ Desk Reference-PDR. 62nd Edition 2008. 2007. Thomson Health Care: Montvale, NJ.

Scope

1975 to the present. $94.96

Arrangement

The entries are full-length copies of the Food & Drug Administration’s approved labeling for drugs and prescriptions, information on drugs without FDA approval and some dietary supplements.

Special Features

The indexes in the front of the publication of more than more than 4,000 drugs are: Manufacturers Index, Brand & Generic Name Index, Product Category Index, Product Identification Guide, Product Information, and Diagnostics about Product Information. More than 2,000 full-size, full-color photos are cross-referenced to the drugs.

Coverage

Scholarly and Professional.

Latest Edition

2007

Limitations

As the written material for a given drug is a compilation of data and recommendations that are identical to those in the drug's package insert, the wording and directives that are included in these package inserts (and thus in the PDR) represent information that the pharmaceutical companies are permitted to present following discussion and approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Rockville, Md. The PDR is thus a negotiated effort of commercial enterprises and governmental regulators (Cohen, 1996).

Other Formats

This version also includes a free PDR electronic library on CD-ROM. Free on-line link at http://www.pdr.net.

Frequency of Publication/Update

Text / yearly with updates in July and October. Free online at http://www.pdrhealthy.com / Daily news updates and CD-ROM. (Back to the top)

Web-Based Source 1

Facts on File World News Digest is located at http://www.2facts.com/stories/digest-home-feature.asp and is published by Facts On File News Service.

Scope

U.S. and World News 1940-present. Internet Resource, Computer File, Continually Updated Resource.

Arrangement

Facts on File as three search resources: encyclopedia, almanac, and curriculum tools. User can search each resources by: Search Story and Title Text, Search Title Text Only, and/or Sort Option For Results List: By Relevance Rank or By Story Date with advanced criteria of an Optional Date Range by month, day, and year. The user can also select advanced search, which will search all databases.

Special Features

If the user would like to search one database, each database has a unique search tool. For instance the user can browse by Letter in the Encyclopedia database. The Almanac database offers the same feature as well as a Find It Fast feature to search by category like Sports and Games or Noted Personalities. Lastly, the Curriculum database offers Tools for students (Research Tools, Presenting Your Research, and Analyzing and Understanding) and Tools for Educators (Classroom Activities and Assignments and Teaching Aids).

Coverage

Facts On File has an unbiased permanent record of the essential facts of more than 1,300 titles across many disciplines. It covers five reading levels: elementary (grades 3-6), middle school (grades 6-8), high school (grades 9-12), college/academic, and general adult.

Latest Edition

2008

Limitations

Subscripting fee access through participating libraries via a non-exclusive, non-transferable, revocable license to access and use the Service solely for educational, research, scholarly, and personal uses, on the terms recited in this Agreement. User must enter library card and pin numbers to use the database via the web.

Other Formats

Print (loose leaf), CD-ROM, Magnetic Tape, Microfiche

Frequency of Publication/Update

Updated twice weekly and includes a searchable hourly newsfeed provided by Reuters (FactsonFile, 2002).

(Back to the top)

Web-Based Source 2

NoveList from EBSCO Publishing: Ipswich, Massachusetts. Web site with text and database at http://web.ebscohost.com/novelist/search?vid=1&hid=15&sid=a4cd6441-4aa5-4c7c-93d0-097d40598fec%40sessionmgr9.

Scope

1990 to present.

$500--system license (all libraries in a specific system; includes single library systems), annual subscription. $750--individual building license, annual subscription. Both licenses include CD-ROM access, if needed

NoveList is a readers' advisory service that provides access to 155,000 fiction titles as well as offering a wide range of feature content to serve fiction readers of all ages including author read-alikes, book discussion guides, reading lists and more. In March 2008, NoveList Plus launched adding 50,000 readable nonfiction titles as well (EBSCO, 2008).

Arrangement

NoveList is a very user-friendly site. Both the "Basic Search" and "Advanced Search" options allow readers to search by author, title, subject, keyword, plot, and award-winning fiction. There are other restrictions the reader can select such as reading grade level, publication date, language, and fiction/non-fiction and adult/juvenile content. The site links to the library catalog so that the program can pull the next books to read based previous items. There is a quick-start tutorial or the user can sign up for a NoveList training session on how to use the program to its full potential. There are Reader Advisory links to Genres, Popular Fiction, Librarian tools, and to author Web sites Felix, 2000).

Special Features

Thirty-five staff members and fifty contributors prepare the content that makes up NoveList. (In March 2008, NoveList Plus launched adding 50,000 readable nonfiction titles as well (EBSCO, 2008).

Coverage

Public and school librarians, K-12 teachers, students, and parents.

Latest Edition

2008

Limitations

User must enter library card and pin numbers to use the database via the web. It supports United States and Canada curriculum-driven material only.

Other Formats

None

Frequency of Publication/Update

The site is updated quarterly. The publisher is committed to adding approximately 10,000 new fiction records to the database annually (Felix, 2000).


References

 

Baker, N. (2007, September). The New Encyclopaedia Britannica. Library Journal, 132(14), 168-168. Retrieved November 11, 2008, from Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts database.

 

Barnes, T. (2004, November 16). Facts On File. Library Journal, 129, 26-26. Retrieved November 11, 2008, from Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts database.

 

Cohen, J., & Insel, P. (1996, July 8). The Physicians' Desk Reference. Problems and possible improvements. Archives Of Internal Medicine, 156(13), 1375-1380. Retrieved November 11, 2008, from MEDLINE database.

 

Cohen, N. Start Writing the Eulogies for Print Encyclopedias Published: March 16, 2008 The New York Times Online. Week in Review. Retrieved November 11, 2008 from http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/16/weekinreview/16ncohen.html?pagewanted=2&sq=encyclopedia%20britannica%20review&st=cse&scp=1

 

EBSCO Publishing provider of EBSCO Host http://www.ebscohost.com/novelist/default.php?id=10

 

Facts on File world news digest U.S. and world news: 1940-present. New York, N.Y.: Facts On File. http://www.2facts.com/Stories/mainmenu.asp.

 

Felix, K. (2000, November). NoveList. Multimedia Schools, 7(6), 74. Retrieved November 11, 2008, from Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts database. (Back to the top)

 

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