Adult Services Minutes

March 21, 2001 Meeting Notes

Attendees: Margaret Garrett (GUIL), Katie Quinn (APLM), Suzanne Fisher (VOOR), Debbie Shoup (EGRN), Jo-Ann Benedetti (UHLS), notes.

Topic: Ready Reference Web Sites for Public Libraries

Rachel demonstrated some web sites that provide ready reference information and resources for both staff and patrons. Each has features and details that make them unique in their own ways.

RUSA - The Reference and User Services Association (part of ALA) provides reviews of online reference sites, as well as a search tool to library reference sites. This tool, called The RUSA Reference Album, was created to help libraries develop their own reference web pages.

Lakewood Public Library - This site provides reference access that is Dewey-based.

Librarians Index to the Internet - With minimal scrolling, this site is a collection of resources formatted in a way similar to Yahoo. The attraction, of course, is that all of the sites have been evaluated and selected by knowledgeable librarians.

Internet Public Library - The IPL was the first online reference resource on the Web. It has recently undergone some changes. The home page has been simplified to one that is text-oriented. This is another resource that is made up of sites chosen by librarians and library school students.

Internet Library for Librarians - Although this web site is geared primarily for library staff, it is worth looking at for the way it is organized. It has real depth of information, including a "how to shelve it" tutorial.

Warren Newport Public Library - A very simple, friendly approach to reference service, built around a virtual "desk."

Sonoma County Library - This library puts its ready reference links right on the library’s home page - using a pull-down subject menu.

Free Library of Philadelphia - The library also uses a pull-down menu on the home page, with more detailed information under "Search Electronic Resources."

New York Public Library - The venerable NYPL "Search the Internet" page has an interactive search tool, as well as subject headings followed by the number of items listed under each topic. For example, Health and Medicine has 168 links.

St. Paul Public Library - A comprehensive listing that is heavily text based.

Next meeting: May 16, 2002 at UHLS. A librarian from the Albany Law School Library will give a presentation on "Legal Resources on the Internet."