Hooking Up People Who Aren't There
by Kathy Dempsey
I just loved the idea of having Computers in Libraries
magazine do a theme issue about Computers NOT in Libraries.
What a great ironyand what a necessary topic.
These days, people may be using your resources from
outside the library walls as much as they use them from
inside. In the traditional sense it seems odd, in that
all these years we've been encouraging people to visit
their libraries. Now we're promoting the fact that they
don't necessarily have to be there in person. The thing
is, though, that it sure is keeping all the library
tech people on their toes. The access capabilities that
might look so simple from the users' side definitely
take a lot of work to design, set up, test, and maintain.
That's the reason we had to address this issue.
This month's features are great examples of how high-tech
librarians can make these services work. One article
explains how a medical library went all-out to meet
its customers' needs. Some users were across the street
and some were across the world, but now any of them
can access whichever electronic resources they're entitled
to from anywhere with a single login and a good Internet
connection. Turn to page 10 to see how they treated
A little closer to home, a campus whose students live
by their laptops increased its library access in more
ways than one. Their recipe for success includes careful
authentication processes, direct links to available
full text, and wireless access. See how they served
it all up, starting on page 6.
To top off this issue, we have a related special section.
This year's final Helping You Buy installment on OpenURL/article-level
linking services demystifies the concept behind OpenURL.
Its clear explanation of the technology will prepare
you to make the most of the accompanying chart, which
compares the features of today's big link resolver products.
It will be a great guide to help you choose the product
that will really integrate this great service for all
those computers outside of your traditional library
Kathy Dempsey, Editor
Kathleen L. Dempsey is the Editor
of Computers in Libraries. Her email address