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Magazines > Computers in Libraries > October 2004
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Vol. 23 No. 9 — October 2004
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 irony—and 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 this challenge.

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 space.

Kathy Dempsey, Editor

Kathleen L. Dempsey is the Editor of Computers in Libraries. Her email address is:

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