Abundance, Attention, and Access: Of Portals and Catalogs
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The world's information resources are abundant, but time is a scarce commodity. The ideal discovery tool, therefore, is one which consults omnivorously, but which returns a selection of relevant results in rapid sequence. Searchers find what they need promptly without having to wade through a vast assortment of tangentially related, inaccurate, or otherwise deficient data. It costs little to build and operate, and it yields a high degree of user satisfaction because it delivers reliable information in a timely manner with relative ease. Such a tool is still imaginary, although it could become a reality in the near future if librarians organize themselves appropriately and commit the resources to design it.
Association of Research Libraries
portal; catalog; digital library
Previously Published As
Thomas, Sarah E., "Abundance, Attention, and Access - Of Portals and Catalogs," A Bimonthly Report on Research Library Issues and Actions from ARL, CNI, and SPARC, Issue 212 (October 2000).