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Library Journal

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This article discusses solutions to the problems of libraries that offer online or CD-ROM searching of bibliographic databases. One perennial problem facing libraries that offer online or CD-ROM searching of bibliographic databases is helping patrons get copies of the documents they identify in a search. Although the problem exists even with printed indexes, database searching makes it easier to locate more items in a wider variety of sources. Patrons with long printouts of articles in sometimes obscure journals are common in libraries, especially as libraries provide CD-ROM indexes for self-service searching. Some libraries report an increase in the use of FAX, some make more use of online document ordering from information brokers, many others see patrons settle for finding only three or four articles out of every ten identified. If speed, cost, and patron satisfaction are equally important, not one of these truly solves the problem. Several producers of bibliographic databases on CD-ROM are trying to provide better solutions, but do not agree on what is the best solution for article delivery. There are three main approaches offered, and they include microform collections, image files on CD-ROM, and ASCII files of document text bundled with the CD-ROM index.


pp. 91-92

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