The VALA2000 10th Biennial Conference and Exhibition was held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia from 16 – 18 February 2000. The theme of the conference was Books and bytes : technologies for the hybrid library.
With the web fast becoming the common platform for access to periodical bibliographic and full-text databases, it is vital that librarians recommending the purchase of these databases evaluate not only their content, but also the search interface and search functionality. This paper describes a set of evaluation criteria for librarians to apply when reviewing the web interfaces of periodical databases. Criteria considered include; logon and logoff procedures, search functionality, flexibility and usability, advanced and novice search modes, on-screen help usefulness, error messages, record marking management, print, saving and e-mail capabilities, truncation and boolean operators, SDI facilities, command language capabilities, visual design and icon function recognition, library holdings features, and the availability and versatility of customisable front ends.
This thoughtful provocative paper examines the complex links between producers and consumers of electronic information. It highlights the difficulties involved in providing seamless access to electronic resources and for managing consumer expectations. Many librarians feel a loss of control over their ability to perform traditional service roles due to turbulent changes in scholarly information. Strategies for regaining control include identification of where failures occur, determining responsibility across the links in the chain, and communicating this information quickly to the consumer. These strategies will assist librarians in maintaining a realistic service level for consumers of electronic products in the Hybrid Library.
In recent years there has been a focus on new methods of course delivery, flexible delivery and teaching using the World Wide Web (WWW). Traditional training skills and levels of interaction are being downplayed with the focus shifting towards the value and adaptability of the technology. This paper seeks to explore some of the key elements in assessing whether we have become overwhelmed with the promise of using the WWW for the development and delivery of courses at the expense of client satisfaction, sound educational principles and adding value to the educational and training arena. Should training programs in information literacy and in the use of information resources be “cyber-training” programs or be added to a traditional face-to-face training program?
Multi-modal learning is a feature of educational provision at Swinburne University of Technology’s Lilydale Campus. Academic staff expect a high level of computer and information literacy from all students, and also have the expectation that library staff are well equipped to support this. To that end, library staff are responsible for the design, delivery and assessment of a module in a core subject that must be taken by all first year students, regardless of their course. This paper provides some background to this situation, looking first at the campus background, the nature of the library and its services, expectations of academic staff, and the library’s profile in course delivery. From our experiences at Lilydale campus, library staff have most definitely been called on to play a dynamic role.