Characteristics, uniqueness and overlap of information sources linked from North American public library Web sites

Chandra Prabha, Raymond Irwin


This article reports on the availability, domain distribution, percentage of Web sites versus Web pages, perceived value, and category of 31,400 Web–based resources selected by 50 public libraries in the United States and Canada. Eighty–seven percent of these resources were available, 60 percent were Web pages, and resources selected by 20 percent of the sampled libraries were finding tools such as general or subject specific search engines. Ninety–three percent of the resources were selected by just one of the 50 libraries; only 17 percent of the resources appeared to be primarily of local interest. The public may be unaware of these unique resources. The public library community must develop programs to increase the awareness and sharing of these evaluated resources.

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