Putting Imagination Online: Public Libraries, The Internet and Literature
The Internet is
- a means of communication
- one to one e.g. e-mail
- one to many e.g. discussion lists
- real time communication too e.g. web-casts and videoconferencing
- a source of information
- Individual's home pages
- Company web pages
- Academic information
- a way of making information available
- available 24 hours a day
- available around the world
Ideas for Online Public Library Literature Services
- Readers publishing reviews on library web site
- Readers continuing stories which are available on the web site
- Online author interviews
- Local author information on the web site
- National gateway to author information
- Gateway to good literature information on the web
- Subject based magazines available on the web site
- Download audio copies of poems
- Ensuring access for everyone irrespective of any disabilities
- Using e-mail and website to set up readers' groups (local, national,
- Make available texts which can simply be downloaded
- Develop interactive online stories
- Provide access to multi-cultural resources head in other locations
- Make available online reading lists
- Use the web site as a current awareness tool - publish news of latest
books, latest library news
- Develop reader profiles - e-mail them when a book arrives that they
- Provide a means for interaction between the author and the reader
- Promote literature cooperatively with other libraries online.
Issues To Be Considered if Developing these Services
- Ensuring web sites linked to are quality ones
- Reader confidentiality if developing reader profiles
- Copyright issues
- Infrastructure and access
- Developing services which attract current non-library users
- Content - how owns the information you provide and who is responsible
- How do you work out the cost-benefit of the services?
- Don't want to the duplicating what is being done in other libraries -
opportunities for collaboration.
- Staff and public need training
- Resources and funding
- Administration - new ways of administrating for new services?
- Pornography - ensuring the site is not miss used.
- The development of online literature services offers a real
opportunity for public libraries - both to addd additional value to
their current literature services and also to attract current
- The development of these services will be better achieved through
cooperation and the implementation of a nationally agreed strategy
- Public access to equipment and resources in the library must be
assured else these literature services will only be available to people
who can afford their own computer equipment.
- Libraries must begin to take their services out of the building and
make them available over the networks.