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Selected ERIC References: Reference Service and the Internet

The Tribal College Librarians Professional Development Institute

  1. Wehmeyer, Lillian Biermann. Computer Archives and the Literature Search. Mar 1995. ERIC no. ED385233.
    This paper outlines the use of computer resources to conduct a literature search. While the phrase "computer archives" can refer to all computerized materials, for this discussion it is limited to textual information available online. Both commercial online services and organizations on the Internet offer files to search and download. In addition, thousands of discussion groups allow members to post notices that may contain information. Locator tools for electronic documents at present consist of print-like tools such as indexes and bibliographies, multifile keyword indexes, and unifile keyword search tools. The use of each to retrieve information is outlined. Once retrieved, information must be evaluated. The uneven nature of documentation in computer archives makes evaluation even more essential than for print resources. Computer access opens new prospects for students, and its potential is particularly apparent in the field of education. Some suggestions are given for teaching students of education to search computer archives, with descriptions of the ERIC system, the Archie and Veronica search tools, and 15 sample screens. An appendix lists search steps. (Contains 11 references.) (SLD)
  2. Klassen, Tim W. "Usenet as a Reference Tool." RSR: Reference Services Review 23 (1995): 13-16,39.
    Describes Usenet, an Internet service that provides access to computerized discussion groups, and examines how it can be used as a reference tool. Topics include subject groups, appropriate questions, exhausting local resources before posting, explaining Usenet to patrons, sending the question, and evaluating the answer. (AEF)
  3. Overmyer, Elizabeth. "Serving the Reference Needs of Children." Wilson Library Bulletin 69 (Jun 1995): 38-40,141.
    Discussion of reference services for children and child-related questions focuses on examples encountered at the San Francisco Bay Area regional reference center. Highlights include sharing resources, online searching, telephone inquiries, using adult reference sources, the use of specialized collections, and using the Internet. (LRW)
  4. Kovacs, Diane K, et al. "A Model for Planning and Providing Reference Services Using Internet Resources." Library Trends 42 (Spr 1994):638-47.
    Assesses the development of practical strategies for library mediation between Internet resources and potential users. Topics addressed include a hierarchy of information skills; awareness of information services and resources; the information structure of a discipline; analysis of information needs; and retrieval, evaluation, and management of information. (Contains eight references.) (LRW)
  5. Santa Vicca, Edmund F, et al. "Evaluating Internet Sources." Reference Librarian no. 41-42 (1994): 225-73.
    Three articles on evaluation cover the use of the Internet as a reference resource and raise network policy issues: "The Internet as a Reference and Research Tool" (Edmund F. Santa Vicca); "NREN Update, 1993: Washington Policy" (Carolyn S. Elliot); and "Evaluating Physical Science Reference Sources on the Internet" (Susan S. Starr). (Contains 36 references.) (KRN)
  6. Lanier, Don, Wilkins, Walter. "Ready Reference via the Internet." RQ 33 (Spr 1994): 359-68.
    Discusses the use of the Internet for ready reference and considers limitations, reference policy, and cost issues. Highlights include general reference sources; database searching on the Internet; Gopher; bibliographic control and access to Internet resources; personnel issues; and levels of service. (Contains 30 references.) (LRW)
  7. Ladner, Sharyn J, Tillman, Hope N. "Using the Internet for Reference." Online 17 (Jan 1993):45-51.
    Outlines the advantages of the Internet for special and reference librarians. Describes the purpose and operation of four electronic discussion lists—BUSLIB-L, MEDLIB-L, LIBREF-L, and STUMPERS-L—noting that the interactions provide the greatest benefits to librarians both for reference service and discussion of common interests and problems. (eight references/notes) (EA)